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Carlos Delgado has a $12 million option in his contract for 2009, or the team can buy him out for $4 million making him a free agent.

The Mets have until five days after the World Series to make an official decision on Delgado’s future.

Delgado explained that he does not have an option on his contact, adding, ‘They have the option, and they have to make the decision whether to bring me back or not.’

Delgado, on his future, while speaking to reporters yesterday from Shea Stadium:

“I don’t know (if I’ll be back), I don’t know, I’ll guess we’ll find out whenever they make the decision…I’d like to be back.  I like this group of guys.  I think we have a great team, so we’ll see what happens…At this stage of my career, you don’t want to be bouncing around any more than you have to, but the decision is in their hand.  I had a good time here, it’s been a great experience and I’m looking forward to coming back if that’s the case…I want to come back, I feel like we have some unfinished business.”

Look, I understand the argument in favor of bringing Delgado back, especially since, technically, he will only cost the Mets an additional $8 million in salary, half of which – I think – can be deferred to future payrolls.

However, as I wrote yesterday, my gut is telling me the Mets need to change the dynamic of this team.

They need to shift from a team led by older, aging veterans, like Delgado, Pedro Martinez and Moises Alou, who are supported by players trying to find their way, like David Wright, Jose Reyes and Mike Pelfrey, and, instead, they must rebuild as team that is led by Wright, Reyes and Johan Santana, and supported by experienced, gritty role players, like Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter were in the mid-80s.

Also, let’s not lose perspective here.  At the end of the day, he is still a soon-to-be 37–year-old, limited-range first baseman, who may or may not need hip surgery one day, who hit .204 in April, .258 in May, .229 in June and .248 in August.

This is not to downgrade his stellar September, which was impressive, but, there is a reason so many of us wanted him cut in May, including the team he works for, and we should not lose sight of that simply because he hit incredibly well during six of the season’s 24 weeks.

Like I said, I can probably be convinced he should stay, and I may even come around to that position when I look a bit more closely at the free-agent and trade market.  However, since we are not building a fantasy team, for now, my hunch is that, despite his stellar July and September, next year’s team – as a whole – may be better with out him.

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