Mets hope final offer is enough for Delgado

NEW YORK – With their Winter Caravan kicking off today in Lower Manhattan, the Mets had hoped to have Carlos Delgado on display, the third major piece of their offseason renovations.

That hasn't happened, and with negotiations dragging on longer than expected, the Mets have once again put their foot down.

According to published reports, the Mets have issued their final offer to Delgado and agent David Sloane, slamming a four-year, $51 million proposal on the table for the free agent first baseman.

If it's not enough, the Mets are prepared to wash their hands of the pursuit, leaving Delgado to choose between the Baltimore Orioles and the Florida Marlins. A decision could come as soon as today.

Negotiations continued yesterday between Sloane and the three interested clubs, with the Mets apparently jumping back in. New York was dead in the water as far as Sloane was concerned late Sunday night, with Delgado refusing to abide by a team-imposed deadline for choosing a club by midnight.

The Texas Rangers also hoped to hear Delgado's decision by late Sunday, and the answer wasn't what they were hoping for. Texas was bounced after it became clear that the team had no intention of playing Delgado regularly at first base, after maintaining for weeks that they were not looking at him solely as a designated hitter.

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