Friday, July 24, 2009

Should the Mets Fire Omar Minaya?

Since he became the Mets GM in 2005, Omar Minaya became one of my favorite GMs in baseball. This is not just some blatant homerism; I genuinely enjoyed the way Minaya handled his business. I admired Minaya's ability to find low cost players off the scrapheap that every other team seemingly passed on. Between Fernando Tatis, Endy Chavez, Orlando Hernandez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Duaner Sanchez; Minaya seemed to have this unique ability to find low cost production.

But over the past few seasons, Minaya's Mets have not been successful. For the past two seasons, the Mets have missed out on a playoff birth on the last day of the season in excruciating fashion. And in 2009, the Mets have been decimated by injury and currently sit in fourth place.

So with the team struggling in 2009 after two seasons of missing the playoffs, the question lingers: should the Mets fire Omar Minaya?

Let's take a look at both sides of the spectrum.


-During his tenure with the Mets, Minaya has failed to find an adequate supporting cast for his bevy of stars (Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana, etc). Minaya has such a good core to build around, but the rest of the roster has been insufficient.

-Minaya has the luxury of having an owner, who is willing to spend what it takes to win. However, in recent seasons, Minaya has spent Wilpon's loot recklessly. He handed out a 4 year extension to Luis Castillo, which looked excessive at the time and now looks crazy (even with his productive 2009). And Minaya gave the unpredictable Oliver Perez a 3 year/$36 million dollar extension after missing out on Derek Lowe.

-The minor league system has produced very little depth. Yes, the Mets have been ridiculously injured this season, but the Mets have very little in the minors that can adequately soften the blow of losing so many players. As a result, the bleeding has not stopped and 2009 looks like a waste.

-Not spending $$$ on draft picks. This is probably more Wilpon than Minaya, but given the Mets financial strength, there is no reason why the Mets should adhere to MLB's slotting system. If they used their financial muscle, they probably would be able to acquire better talent. Even if the decision is made by Wilpon, I would hope that Minaya is doing everything in his power to get the owner to open up his wallet for draft picks like he has for free agents.

-The organization is a mess. The whole Tony Bernazard situation is embarrassing and makes the Mets look dysfunctional. This chaos happened under Minaya's watch and that's got to count for something.


-No matter what you think of Minaya and the Mets, there is not a GM out there that could solve the ills that currently plague the Mets. A good portion of the Mets core has missed significant time because of injury this season, which would have decimated any team. Minaya gets lots of grief because the Mets have a $140 million dollar payroll, but the injuries to star players has made his job nearly impossible. It's tough to fire a GM under these circumstances.

-Don't forget that the Mets lost alot more than just Delgado, Reyes, Beltran, and Putz to injury.

Here is my unofficial list: Oliver Perez, Brian Schneider, John Maine, Billy Wagner, Tim Redding, Angel Pagan, Ramon Martinez, Fernando Martinez, Ryan Church, Fernando Nieve, and Billy Wagner.


-The Wilpons love him. Seriously, love him.

Verdict: I say no. I've been as frustrated by the Mets as anyone, but I just cannot bring myself to fire Minaya with so many injuries hanging over his head. I think he deserves another year (at least) to right the ship.



Luis said...

I think Omar must go- in 05 he was unable to get a decent 1Bman, the easiest position to fill and we were the league worst at 1B production. He traded quality bullpen arms (Bell for one) and received nothing in return. The 4 year deal for Castillo, 3 years of Perez(bidding against self), the lack of a m inor league system that has produced very much vis a vis the resources available. It is time for him to go

Anonymous said...

Take a look at yesterdays news conference - and then tell us that you still think Omar should remain.