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Delgado excited for baseball's return to Panama

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs right-hander Randall Delgado is looking forward to joining his teammates for Opening Day in Australia in March, but he will also keep an eye on another international showcase much closer to home.

Major League Baseball is returning to Panama for the first time since 1947 when the Yankees and the Marlins face each other next month for two games at Panama City's Rod Carew Stadium. The games will be held few hours away from Delgado's offseason home in Las Tablas.

The "Legend Series" will honor the legacy of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is also from Panama, on March 15-16.

"Baseball in Panama is getting better and the country is getting what you can call a baseball fever," Delgado said. "The league is stronger. It's not as big as the other leagues, but there is talent there. The whole country is waiting for Mariano and the Yankees to come, not just baseball fans."

Delgado, who is out of Minor League options, is competing for a spot in the D-backs' starting rotation. He can also pitch out of the bullpen and said he is keeping an open mind.

"I'm a starter, but obviously, I'll do whatever they want me to do," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen and we'll see how Spring Training goes. I'll just do my job and it doesn't matter where it is."

And yes, Delgado plans on watching the "Legend Series," or at least the final few innings of each game.

"You think Mariano will throw an inning or two?" Delgado asked. "I know he is retired, but wouldn't that be great?"

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.
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