The above modal for an app I'm working on, client says the "delete" button is too easily confused with the "cancel" button, even though the outcome from each is different ("cancel" opens a dropdown list of options, "delete" opens a modal to confirm deletion).
Anyway, that's not important, what is is addressing the client's concerns, so I've suggested "delete" becomes a small text item bottom left, maybe with an "x" or similar next to it. Any better suggestions?
And the big red "delete" button was the most obvious option, along with a modal asking to confirm don't really know how much clearer it could get that it's something major, but not enough for the client so need to try something else. At present smaller red text "delete" is the only other option that seems feasible.
Having the delete button red and at the bottom left makes it look like the primary action, and there is the risk of the user accidentally clicking it because they've been conditioned to click the big colourful button underneath a form.
Your idea to de-emphasise the delete button by making it a text link, not a button, and positioning it bottom-left, away from the other actions, makes good sense to me.
What about something as simple as listing exactly what that button does: instead of just Delete, I would suggest it say "Delete Record" on that (red) button. Pretty clear then! And then perhaps Delete Record button by itself on far left or right with clear space between the 4 other buttons.