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Saturday, January 15, 2005
Updated: January 17, 9:09 PM ET
Sloane: Florida's one of four teams on short list

ESPN.com news services

The Florida Marlins, who made a favorable impression on Carlos Delgado in a recent meeting, are on the first baseman's short list, Delgado's agent told ESPN.com senior baseball writer Jayson Stark on Monday.

Carlos Delgado
First Base
Toronto Blue Jays
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R SB AVG
128 32 99 74 0 .269

According to David Sloane, the free-agent player has narrowed his list to the Marlins, Mets, Orioles and Rangers, eliminating several teams. Sloane wouldn't comment on which teams had been ruled out, but they are believed to include the Red Sox, Tigers and Athletics -- all of which reportedly were contacted by Sloane in the last several weeks.

Sloane, will meet with the Marlins again Tuesday afternoon. He is scheduled to talk with the Orioles' people in the morning, according to Stark.

Sloane and Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest agreed that the 5½-hour meeting Saturday in Miami went well.

"The meeting we had was a very good one," Sloane said. "If someone had told me a month ago we would be involved in discussions with the Florida Marlins, I would have thought that's a long shot. After the meeting we had today, I consider them significantly less of a long shot."

Owner Jeffrey Loria cut short a business trip in France to attend the meeting, and manager Jack McKeon flew down from his home in North Carolina.

"The goals that we had going into this were achieved today," Beinfest said. "Jeffrey's presence was important to show commitment, certainly at the ownership level, and to demonstrate to Carlos from the top of this organization that we are very interested in the opportunity of him becoming a Marlin."

When asked whether a contract was discussed, Beinfest said, "There were some discussions about goals of both parties, concepts and ideas."

Florida earlier offered Delgado a three-year, $35 million deal. Sloane declined to say whether the Marlins have since sweetened their offer. It would be the richest per-season deal in franchise history but might not be enough to land the former Toronto first baseman, given the competition.

Delgado met Thursday with New York Mets executives in his native Puerto Rico. He and Sloane are expected to meet this coming Friday in Puerto Rico with a Rangers delegation headed by owner Tom Hicks, GM John Hart and manager Buck Showalter.

After flying to Miami on Saturday morning, Delgado met at Dolphins Stadium with Marlins executives, who then took him to lunch at Joe's Stone Crab, a popular South Beach restaurant. Among those taking part were team executives Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, as well as left-hander Al Leiter, who signed with Florida in November.

Delgado hit at least 30 homers each of the past eight seasons for the Blue Jays. He would give the Marlins a left-handed power presence they've lacked since Cliff Floyd departed after the 2002 season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.