Now with the future of the franchise very much on shaky grounds, the Marlins continued their payroll purging Thursday by officially dealing Delgado to the Mets for Mike Jacobs and Minor Leaguers Yusmeiro Petit (pitcher) and Grant Psomas (Class A infielder).
As part of the cost-cutting transaction, the Marlins are obligated for $7 million of the remaining $48 million on Delgado's deal.
Parting with Delgado came a day after Marlins president David Samson announced the team had been granted permission from Major League Baseball to seek relocation.
"We thank Carlos Delgado for his contributions and wish him well. He did a great job for the Marlins in 2005," said Marlins GM Larry Beinfest. "We look forward to Yusmeiro Petit joining our stable of outstanding young pitchers. Mike Jacobs provides a quality lefthanded bat and figures to be in the mix at first base. Grant Psomas had an excellent year in A-ball last year and we're glad to bring him into our organization."
Trading Delgado also comes during a week where the Marlins are finalizing a deal that will send Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to the Red Sox for Minor Leaguers Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Jesus Delgado.
The 38,000-seat retractable-roof stadium deal the Marlins were hopeful of finalizing the past few years is now officially dead.
Without the security of a new home, the Marlins are drastically scaling down their record-high $65 million payroll from the 2005 season. The way Delgado's contract was structured, he earned $4 million this past season and he is set to make $13.5 million in 2006, $14.5 million in 2007 and $16 million in 2008. The contract included a mutual option year for 2009 at $16 million with a $4 million buyout.
Delgado, who is in his native Puerto Rico, is set to get married in early December. The 33-year-old first baseman has been shopped the past few weeks by the Marlins, with interest accelerating during the recent general managers meetings.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria notified Delgado of the deal a little more than two months after the owner assured the slugger that he wasn't on the trading block.
When the Marlins were in the thick of the National League Wild Card race in mid-September, reports surfaced that Delgado could be traded if the stadium situation in Miami fell through.
At that time, Loria spoke briefly to Delgado during a crucial series at Houston. Delgado said the owner told him he wasn't going anywhere.
That statement was made before the stadium situation fell apart, which prompted the Marlins to say they would entertain offers to play elsewhere, including markets outside of Florida.
In his lone season with the Marlins, Delgado posted big numbers, batting .301 with 33 homers and 115 RBIs. He was the left-handed power-hitter the team had been missing since Cliff Floyd was traded in 2002.
Now, Delgado and Floyd are teammates in New York.
In January, Delgado was a highly coveted free agent, drawing serious offers from the Marlins, Mets, Orioles and Rangers.
Delgado has a string of nine straight years with 30 or more home runs. He has driven in more than 100 runs in seven of the past eight seasons.
With the Marlins' payroll expected to drop in the $40 million range, the left-handed-hitting Jacobs will get an opportunity to be Delgado's replacement.
The 25-year-old Jacobs is grooming his skills playing winter ball in Venezuela.
In his short time up with the Mets in 2005, the Chula Vista, Calif., native batted .310 with 11 homers and 23 RBIs.
Jacobs shares a distinction with Marlins rookie right fielder Jeremy Hermida. This past season, both homered in their first Major League at-bat.
Jacobs connected on his first at-bat on Aug. 21 against the Nationals. He got off to a tremendous start, depositing four home runs with nine RBIs in his first four games, a span of 13 at-bats.
Hermida, the Marlins' top prospect who was called up from Double-A Carolina, delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in his first big league at-bat.
Petit, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is regarded as the Mets' top pitching prospect. At Double-A Binghamton, the right-hander was 9-3 with a 2.92 ERA.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.