Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Musings on MinayaPosted by Dan Novick
The big news of Monday evening was the Roy Halladay-to-the-Mets rumor, as reported by SI. That rumor has since been debunked by several sources, and it was hard to believe at the time I heard it. When my friend told me about the report via text message, I responded with some choice words about Omar Minaya. This is a family blog, so we'll keep that message private.
But what did come of that exchange was a realization about Omar Minaya's vision for the Mets: He doesn't seem to have one.
I'm not talking about individual moves being good or bad. Somebody mentioned recently (can't find the link anymore) that Billy Beane's recent moves have all been good in isolation, but they lack direction. He said he wanted to rebuild, but then scrapped that idea and traded for Matt Holliday. In isolation, a move like that might be good. But it clearly hasn't brought the A's closer to the playoffs or a title, and few thought it would at the time. I'm not going to whip out Sky's nifty trade value calculator and separate the good moves from the bad. What I'm talking about is the general direction in which the Mets are moving.
The Mets right now are a team with a bunch of players in their primes--Wright, Reyes, Santana--and a bunch of guys on the downward sloping portion of their career paths. It's difficult to say that any team with Livan Hernandez taking the mound every fifth day is built to win now, but the Mets are built to win now. I know, I know, they're in 4th place and the sky is falling, so they're not winning it all this year. What I mean is that they're not in a position to win 3 or 4 years from now. The minor league system is just not good enough where you can say there's help on the way and they'll be a solid contender 3 years from now.
So what is Minaya to do? The contracts the Mets are carrying prevent the struggling team from tearing it all apart and building solely around their young stars in Wright and Reyes. Their window to win is in the next few years while Beltran is still young (though his knees are making him look old pretty quickly) and while Johan is still an ace. Omar Minaya should not be paying out all this cash to these players right now if he's not planning to win right now. Someone like Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee won't do much for the Mets this season, but a relatively healthy Mets team in 2010 would be an instant world series contender with the addition of another ace to the staff. Or, they could sit back and watch another $140 million team win 80-something games.
Whether it's within the next 10 days or over the off-season, Omar Minaya has to commit to something other than mediocrity.
Dan Novick is a lifelong Yankees fan, and still gets the chills every time Enter Sandman plays from the Yankee Stadium speakers. He welcomes comments and questions via e-mail.