Thursday, January 20, 2005

Minaya's Back Page Mets

Has anyone noticed how the Mets seem to be interested only in big name players? After singing Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran, news comes that they're after Carlos Delgado. Delgado is a good player, but he's 33 and is looking to make about $14-15Mill a year for at least three years.  Thats waaaaay overboard for him considering his health problems in the past and potential productivity a couple years down the road.  By the time the Mets are really looking to seriously contend he'll be too old and his contract will be too much of an albatross to help the team. 
I get the idea that Fred Wilpon said to Omar, "OK, you can spend whatever you want this offseason, but I want to upstage the Yankees. And if we don't win this year then all bets are off"?  I think Wilpon really does expect immediate results, though logic says he probably won't get what he's looking for.  The real questions for the Mets are, 1) what will they do this trading deadline when they find themselves fifteen and a half games behind Atlanta, and 2) will they spend money next offseason as well in order to compliment the players they just bought, or will Wilpon stitch the wallet closed and say "it didn't work last year so forget it this year." 

That said, I can't fault the Beltran deal too much.  They overpaid for what they'll get, but he's a quality player and they probably won't be too sorry about that deal down the line, considering Beltran's age.  Pedro is another story.  I'd love to read what the NY papers are saying about pedro in three years going into the last year of his deal.  Fire up the ol' flex capacitor, because this is gonna be hilarious. 
I've heard about the Met's TV deal which, the theory goes, has caused/allowed them to spend like crazy, but the thing that gets me is the Mets changing GMs this off season. Spending a ton of money isn't difficult for anyone who can sign their own name.  Figuring out that you want Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez on your team also isn't difficult. The team captains on any playground could figure that out.  Fixing the bullpen, which is a hole, is much more difficult and takes a bit more skill. 

It doesn't take a genius to out-bid the other guy for a name player, but unless you are the Yankees you can't have a name player at every position, which is where some subtly and intelligent analysis comes into the picture.  Minaya hasn't shown that he can handle that.  Contrary to popular belief he didn't do it in Montreal, and he hasn't done it in NY.  I'm not saying he was delt a fair hand in Montreal, because he clearly was not, but that team got worse and worse each year he was there, and there wasn't much he did to stop it.  That team is basically a shell now, with no marketable talent, no up and coming rookies, and very little in the farm system to pin future hopes on.  They're going to suck this year, and a large part of that has to be laid at Minaya's feet. I think this is an indictment of Minaya as a GM, which doesn't bode well for his tenure as Mets GM.

So, what am I saying? I guess what I'm saying is that the Mets are the darlings of the back pages in NYC right now, which is what Wilpon and Minaya clearly wanted, but I'm guessing somewhere around mid July things won't be as rosey as they seem now in Queens. I'm curious to see how Minaya and Wilpon react to that adversity. If the past is any indicator, I wouldn't be too optimistic.  

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