Carlos Delgado plays for Carolina of the Puerto Rican league...

Carlos Delgado plays for Carolina of the Puerto Rican league in his first game back since hip surgery last year. (January 3, 2010) Credit: AP

The Mets, still thinking offense, are "very interested" in re-signing free agent Carlos Delgado, a person familiar with the club's thinking said Monday.

Their preference is to sign the first baseman, who played only 26 games last season before being shelved for the season because of a hip injury, to an incentive-laden deal.

The 37-year-old Delgado remains a favorite of the front office, which looks at Delgado, if healthy, as still being able to contribute in the field, not to mention a significant contributor to an offense that has been upgraded with the addition of Jason Bay.

Delgado, playing in his first game since having surgery in May, went 1-for-4 Sunday night in Puerto Rico.

"I felt better than I expected, for the time I spent without playing," Delgado said, according to The Associated Press. "I hadn't seen live pitching since May. The most important thing is this was a step in the right direction.''

The Mets continue to explore upgrading their rotation, looking at free-agent options such as Joel Piñeiro - their top choice - Doug Davis, Ben Sheets and Jon Garland.

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