“Randall Delgado is no more.” That’s what we wrote on July 26, when he was designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks. 51⁄2 years after coming over from Atlanta in the Justin Upton trade, he was cut from the 40-man roster to make way for new signing Matt Andriese. He had made it all the way up to fifth on the franchise list for appearances by a pitcher. But with free-agency looming, and Delgado having struggled with both injury (appearing in only six games this year) and ineffectiveness (a 5.14 ERA and 2:3 K:BB ratio), the team opted to cut ties.
However, it seems that he was unable to find other employment, for there was a surprising development this afternoon:
Dbacks re-sign Randall Delgado to a minor league deal. He’ll head to Reno.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) August 17, 2018
Of course, the team will still be paying Delgado the balance of his contract - he was owed about $810,000 at the time of his release. But this way, he isn’t taking up a 40-man roster spot, though that means he would have to be re-added if he is ever to become part of the active roster. This does make him potentially eligible for the post-season. Whether that happens will depend, firstly, on Delgado showing he is healthy, and his fastball has also recovered the lost velocity. Per Fangraphs, his average fastball last year was a career-high 94.2 mph. But that dipped to jut 91.9 in the games since Delgado returned, the lowest figure for Randall since 2013.
Right now, it’s very much a low-cost, low-risk move. If Delgado can get back to the form he showed in 2014-2017, when he had a FIP of 3.66, and struck out almost exactly a batter per inning (287 in 287.1 innings), then he’ll become another option for long relief in the bullpen. In a world where relief arms are taking an increasing share of the innings, especially in the post-season, there’s no harm in that.