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Omar Minaya

The Yankees are considering bringing former Mets GM Omar Minaya to the Bronx to join the Yanks front office (Boland, Oct. 13).

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is close with Minaya, who is currently?senior vice president of baseball operations for the Padres. According to the report, it's?not clear what role Minaya would have with the Yankees, though it's possible he could replace Mark Newman, who recently retired as the team's farm director.

Minaya, the Mets GM from 2005 to 2010, has held his current job since December 2011. San Diego fired Josh Byrnes as GM on June 23, and Minaya temporarily shared the GM role with two others before A.J. Preller was hired on?Aug. 7.

Tags: avsny, jmcguire860, matthewcerrone, MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Jerry McGuire
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In case you missed it Tuesday, the Red Sox John Lackey will have Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2012 new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington reported.

The Globe reports that Lackey had "elbow soreness during the season." No joke. ?Maybe the 6.41 ERA was a dead giveaway. ?Or the -1.2 brWAR. ?Or the career-high 3.2 BB/9.

Lest you forget, there were some New York media members who thought the Mets needed Lackey via the one and only Ted Berg?of Tedquarters.net:

Tags: Majors, Omar Minaya, Toby Hyde
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Fernando Martinez Fernando Martinez was 0-3 yesterday, but he did impress our own Mike Diaz, who tweeted:
Fernando Martinez just showed us something beautiful in that AB vs the LHP. Patience, patience, and bat speed. #stayhealthykid #Mets
Adam Foster of Project Prospect also tweeted about Martinez's potential:

As a 1B, I think he has 30+ HR potential and could put up a wOBA around .360 RT @MeanyMikey: Any projections for F-Mart?
It's worth next to nothing, but Martinez has been productive in his 20 plate appearances this spring, going 7-for-17 (.412) with two doubles, and a home run.? I think more importantly than a few base hits, or even some power, is that he's drawn three walks and fanned four times.? That's a very nice piece of strike zone control.

I also pointed out that he needs a better nickname than F-Mart, which just sounds boring and cheap.

Tags: Baseball Prospectus, Business of Baseball, Fernando Martinez, Omar Minaya, Toby Hyde
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Minaya had to go.? Even he knew it.? You can't spend $283 million on consective sub-.500 teams and keep your job.

It seems appropriate here to write an examination of the Mets farm system during the Omar Minaya Regime.? I will not, nor cannot summarize six years of games and decisions.? Instead, lets focus on the big themes.

A Few Names at the Top

Tags: Analysis, Omar Minaya, Regime Change, Toby Hyde
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Andrew Marchand blogs on 1050 ESPN Radio about the future of Omar Minaya, Jerry Manuel, John Ricco and Bobby Valentine.

Marchand writes, “Minaya could be reassigned so Ricco is the face of the front office, while Minaya still plays a vital role in player personell.”

…i talked with someone close to the team today, who basically said ownership knows a change is needed, as they’re not happy with what has transpired since 2006, and they do not like the direction things are going… i have no idea what that specifically means, but, if i had to guess, it would mean something like marchand is writing about

Marchand also writes about what he calls the The Bobby Valentine Brigade, i.e., the New York media.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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In today’s Daily News, Adam Rubin cites high-ranking, team personnel as saying John Ricco will ultimately emerge as the team’s next GM.

Ricco has been Minaya’s assistant GM since 2004.

I wrote the following yesterday, here, “If the Mets decide to let Minaya go, from what I understand, they’ll be most inclined to make Ricco the new GM, but pair him up with a strong, heavy-weight talent person, like a Gerry Hunsicker, and do like the Yankees did in the 90s, who teamed up a young business-mind in Brian Cashman with a veteran talent-mind in Gene Michael.”

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Omar Minaya talked to reporters today from Citi Field, to answer questions about today’s non-waiver trade deadline.

According to Minaya, he and his staff were working on potential trades up until 4 pm, but, as he said, ‘We were just not able to get it done… We had some opportunities to do some things, but, in the end, I felt that what teams were asking for we couldn’t find a match.”

Minaya said one issue he had was knowing certain players would soon return from the disabled list, saying, “What are you gonna get for that player, and then what happens when the player comes back.”

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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In the Bergen Record, Bob Klapisch says, “Mets GM Omar Minaya is still in danger of losing his job; it all depends on how the Mets finish out the season.”

According to Klapisch, despite Minaya’s apology, Jeff Wilpon said the Mets have been going in the wrong direction for years.

in a Q&A i recently did with Oh Murph, i was asked, ‘Which was most painful: 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009,’ and i responded:

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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?oh, lord, hold on to your hats:

Omar Minaya will speak with reporters today from the dugout in Citi Field at 11 am.

?i hope they set up prompter? or, just have him read directly from notes, ?I apologize to Adam Rubin, P.S. Have a nice day,? and get off the stage?

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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1.? The Mets have given a lot of newspapers the chance to show off their funny and snarky sides.

Wallace Matthews of Newsday might win the award however:

The Mets are the only organization in professional sports that can call a news conference to announce it has killed the Wicked Witch - and wind up running over Toto instead.

Tags: Adam Rubin, Daily Recap, Omar Minaya, Tony Bernazard, Toby Hyde
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Yesterday, Jeff Wilpon said of Mets GM Omar Minaya, “Right now, the idea is, Omar is our general manager, period… He’s going to be our GM.”

In a report for Newsday, Wallace Matthews writes:

‘“He's this close to being out of baseball,’ Wilpon told me, holding his thumb and forefinger a half-inch apart.”

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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In the Star-Ledger, Brian Costa wrote that yesterday revealed the Mets chaos.

The moment was indicative of a day that was supposed to be about Bernazard, the now-former vice president of player development, but instead turned into a portrait of an organization in chaos.
In the Post, Joel Sherman's Three-UP is all about the Mets and Omar Minaya, and that's not good:

The Mets have the uncanny ability to care abundantly about how they are portrayed in the media and yet still botch just about every media moment they have as an organization.

Tags: Omar Minaya, Toby Hyde
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Writing this morning in the NY Daily News, Adam Rubin responded clearly and calmly to Omar Minaya's claims that 1. he was lobbying for a job with the Mets and that 2. it affecting his reporting:

Everything I wrote about Tony Bernazard - bombshell stories that appeared in the pages of the Daily News over the last week - is accurate.

....

Tags: Adam Rubin, Omar Minaya, Toby Hyde
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What should have been a relatively simple press conference Monday afternoon to announce the Mets firing of VP of Player Development Tony Bernazard instead became the story when Mets General Manager Omar Minaya attacked the professionalism of Daily News reporter Adam Rubin, who broke the stories that led to Bernazard's dismissal.? In fact, Minaya and COO Jeff Wilpon held a second press conference in the Citi Field press box only a few hours after the first, just before first pitch, to attempt to do damage control from mess from the original presser at 4 PM.

Minaya began the first press conference by attempting to explain the process and reason for Bernazard's dismissal.? He told the gathered reporters that he made the decision to let Bernazard go, after reviewing the conclusions of a Mets internal investigation that lasted nearly a month.? He noted that it is "very important to say that this investigation was done by the Human Resources department," which he claimed started before Rubin's articles about Bernazard ran in the daily news. Bernazard was let go because

1. there were "interpersonal things that were against what the organization believes in."? Translation: he treated people badly.

Tags: Adam Rubin, Omar Minaya, Tony Bernazard, Toby Hyde
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In a post to Twitter, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes, Mets GM Omar Minaya’s friends say he has confided to them that he messed up by attacking Adam Rubin of the Daily News during today’s press conference.

Speaking to reporters from the press box, Minaya said he is sorry for out Rubin, noting it was the wrong forum.

Minaya, however, stood by his statement that Rubin lobbied the team for a job.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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Update, 5:42 pm:

here are my conspiracy theories, based on nothing:

…omar got emotional, went rogue, and said, ‘Screw it, if I’m going down, you, Adam Rubin, are going down with me, for making me fire my friend, Tony B,’… and, by doing so, omar is ready to face the consequences, since he’s already had to fire every one else he brought on in 2005, when he was given ‘full autonomy.’…

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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Omar Minaya officially announced that Tony Bernazard has been fired.

To watch Minaya’s comments, click here.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Tony Bernazard
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In the New York Times, Ken Belson writes about the current dysfunction surrounding the Mets, adding:

“Perhaps, more significantly, Jeff Wilpon, the man in charge of the team’s off-field operations and the son of the club’s majority owner, has not been heard from in months.

“In normal times, a chief operating officer’s public silence would go unnoticed. On many teams, general managers do most of the talking because they are responsible for the team on a day-to-day basis. But when the problems spill off the field, higher-ranking executives often step in to clarify the team’s goals and project stability… This would seem to be one of those moments.”

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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Jerry Manuel talked with WFAN today at 5 pm, for his weekly interview with Mike Francesa.

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

During the discussion, Manuel said the team essentially sat in disbelief when Fernando Nieve went down with a torn quad muscle, suggesting a feeling of ‘what next?’

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, WFAN, Matthew Cerrone
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In a must-read report for the Daily News, Adam Rubin says Mets VP Tony Bernazard removed his shirt and challenged the Double-A players to a fight during a recent ‘postgame tirade.’

According to Rubin, “alleged underage drinking on the team apparently was one motivation for the eruption,” all of which he confirmed through ‘multiples sources,’ and ‘insiders.’

Earlier this week, also in the Daily News, Rubin said Bernazard was recently seen in the stands going into a profanity-laced tirade directed at the team’s manager of baseball operations, “which left witnesses in the section behind home plate aghast.”

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Tony Bernazard, Matthew Cerrone
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In case you missed it, last night, Jon Heyman of SI.com said Mets GM Omar Minaya rejected a deal from Blue Jays GM JP Riccardi for RHP Roy Halladay, in return for OF Fernando Martinez, Bobby Parnell, Jon Niese and 17–year-old SS Ruben Tejada.

However, today, in a post to Twitter, ESPN’s Keith Law says the trade rumor is ‘bogus,’ having been ‘shot down by multiple sources.’

Similarly, I talked with a baseball person in Philadelphia, an agent, and two people connected to the Mets, and all four believe Minaya would have accepted such a deal had it been actually presented to him, i.e., maybe the Jays and Mets talked, but no hard offer was made.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Roy Halladay, Matthew Cerrone
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Original Post, 8:35 pm:

According to Jon Heyman, of SI.com, Jeff Wilpon has told Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel they will not be fired as a result of this season.

…by the way, there are 71 games left…

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Mets GM Omar Minaya talked with reporters before yesterday’s game, and discussed his effort to improve the roster through trade.

Minaya, when asked if there is a deal available that could make a significant impact, said:

“That deal is not there right now… I think there are 22, 24 teams that are within playoff striking distance.  So, there's not a lot of guys… The pool is not that big.”

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Update, 5:03 pm:

Mets GM Omar Minaya talked earlier today to WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

To listen to the entire interview, go to WFAN.com.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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Prior to tonight’s game, Omar Minaya told reporters that he believes Fernando Martinez’s time with the Mets was positive.

Minaya said Nick Evans will give Jerry Manuel a right-handed bat to use from the bench, as opposed to the left-handed hitting Martinez, who should be getting regular playing time in Triple-A.

…the sense i get, from listening to minaya, is that evans will be with the team for a week or so, at which point he could go down in place of Angel Pagan, who is getting closer to coming back

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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The?New York Post reads S.O.S. Amazin?s need Omar to ?Save Our Season.?

In the story, Kevin Kernan speaks with Omar Minaya, who has the flu, and writes, ?Minaya said he is not going to give away the future to make a deal.?

Kernan demands that Minaya make a deal, explaining why he should 'pick up' Aubrey Huff?or Luke Scott, while also 'thinking big' about acquiring Carlos Lee from the Astros, Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres, White Sox OF Jermaine Dye and Nationals 1B Nick Johnson.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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Omar Minaya talked with WFAN this morning, and said he hopes to see Carlos Beltran back in the lineup either tonight or this weekend.

To listen to the full interview, go to WFAN.com.

Minaya also said Jose Reyes will remain with the team this weekend, he will then go to Florida to play in a few minor-league rehab games.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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Omar Minaya is scheduled to speak with reporters sooner than later, after which Jerry Manuel will take over.

Hopefully, Minaya will relay news of Carlos Beltran's MRI, the state of Jose Reyes, Alex Cora and Ryan Church, and whether there will be any roster moves on the horizon.

By the way, there is still no lineup posted, except for Livan Hernandez who is the only player listed.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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Yesterday, during a conference call with reporters, Omar Minaya said he is confident in his team’s doctors who say Carlos Delgado can return to the lineup in 10 weeks, though that will obviously all depend on how his rehab goes.

According to Minaya, though he is always open to making a trade, Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis will be able to handle the position in Delgado’s absence.

…i asked the following question a few days ago, but i wonder if people may have changed their mind since getting actual news about carlos

[poll id="255"]

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Poll, Matthew Cerrone
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Mets GM Omar Minaya will hold a conference call with reporters today at 4 pm, which will air live on SNY.

Update, 4:04 pm:

Minaya is confident in his team’s doctors who say Delgado can return to the lineup in 10 weeks, though that will obviously all depend on how his rehab goes.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, SNY, Matthew Cerrone
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Last Monday, the Mets were 11–13 and two losses back of the Marlins for first place in the NL East, during which the first four posts on MetsBlog.com dealt with Carlos Delgado’s hip pain; what to do with Oliver Perez; Phillies quotes pointing out the emotional difference between them and the Mets; and whether or not there will be a target on Omar Minaya if the Mets keep losing.

Today, the Mets are four games over .500, they’ve won seven games in a row, and they are in first place in the NL East.

…it really is amazing how different one week can be… but, remember the old Bobby Valentine advice, ‘You’re never as good as you think are in a winning streak, and you’re never as bad as you think you are during a losing streak, you’re really some place in the middle.’…

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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According to David Lennon at Newsday, Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon, are headed to Atlanta to discuss the future of Oliver Perez.

Lennon writes, "As much as everyone wants to dismiss Olllie and dump him in the minors, remember this is a three-year, $36-million business investment... The Mets have to tread carefully with Perez, and not just for the short-term benefit of this season.? They can't just wash their hands of him."

Added to by Matthew Cerrone:

Tags: MetsBlog, Oliver Perez, Omar Minaya, Regis Courtemanche
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In a must-read report for the Daily News, John Harper believes there will be a target on Omar Minaya if this season does not work out for the Mets.

it will be interesting… the team’s ownership likes minaya a lot, and they have a long history together… however, it will be difficult to justify allowing him to re-structure this team if he is the very person who created the problem in the first place

Harper continues on to write about Minaya’s comments to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com last week, in which he essentially said ‘the Mets are soft and do not play with an in-your-face mentality,’ as Harper put it.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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In a report for FoxSports.com, Ken Rosenthal quotes Omar Minaya as saying, while the team does not lack leadership, the team’s stars do lack a certain ‘edge.’

“We have good guys, solid professionals,” Minaya told Rosenthal.

“There is a smile on David Wright's face, a smile on Jose Reyes's face. But there is not an edge to them… Some people see edge as leadership.  Sometimes, you need a little meanness to your game.  Some people perceive leadership as meanness.”

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Matthew Cerrone
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In case you missed it from earlier today...

Last week, I was able to?sit?down and talk?with Omar Minaya for a few minutes while in the Mets dugout in Citi Field.

There is no point in discussing with him past decisions and trades, because he has given that interview to a dozen other places in the last few weeks.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya
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Yesterday, Omar Minaya told the New York Post that ?he has permission from ownership to increase payroll,? which the Post also confirmed?with Jeff Wilpon.

?We've been told that whatever we need to do to get to help us win, we're going to try to do it,? Minaya is quoted as saying.

Minaya also noted that while the number is limited, he has the ability to increase payroll with a mid-season acquisition?if it is in an area on the roster that needs improvement.

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Earlier today, Omar Minaya addressed the media and announced he and his team reached an agreement with free-agent OF Gary Sheffield.

Minaya said Sheffield still must take a physical, and is expected to be with the team tomorrow.

Later, Carlos Beltran told reporters, “I think it helps, because he knows what to expect, he’s going to come here and do his thing and he knows how things work here in New York.”

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GM Omar Minaya spoke with reporters in Tradition Field today.

In response to a question about Pedro Martinez, Omar thinks that with the signing of Livan Hernandez, they are set with the pitchers they have.

Earlier today, Jerry Manuel told reporters that he may look to bat Jose Reyes third, while batting Luis Castillo in the lead-off spot.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Regis Courtemanche
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In case you missed it…

To read my live blog from yesterday’s press conference at SNY, during which Omar Minaya said there will be no other big moves made this off-season, saying all of his big priorities have been met, click here.

To see video of Oliver Perez answering questions from reporters, click here.

Tags: Oliver Perez, Omar Minaya, Video
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This morning, Mets GM Omar Minaya appeared as a guest on WFAN’s Boomer and Carton Show, which you can listen to live, every morning, from 6 am to 10 am, on WFAN.com.

When asked about Manny Ramirez, Minaya told WFAN, ‘I think I’ve been pretty clear… This is the team we’re going with, I think we’ve made improvements and I look forward to spring training.”

Minaya acknowledged that the bottom of his batting order is ‘light,’ but he is still looking to pick up a few players on minor-league deals, including acquiring a right-handed bat.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Willie Randolph
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Last night, SNY’s Ted Berg talked with Mets GM Omar Minaya for an interview on SNY.tv.

Here is a quick sample of their discussion, which I found most interesting – otherwise, to watch the entire four-minute interview, scroll down and click play…

Ted Berg: How do you balance the desire to put together a competitive team with the challenge of winning in the long haul?

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, SNY, Ted Berg
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In a report for FoxSports.com, Ken Rosenthal says rival executives list the following problems for Oliver Perez:

“He had the lowest groundball percentage in the National League last season… His walk rate was the third highest in the league after Barry Zito and Ian Snell… And he has yet to pitch 200 innings in a season.”

Last night, on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove, Mets GM Omar Minaya had the following to say, when asked if Perez was his number one target from the current free-agent pitcher’s market:

Tags: MetsBlog, Oliver Perez, Omar Minaya, Pedro Martinez, Randy Wolf
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Mets GM Omar Minaya will join Gary Cohen and SI.com’s Jon Heyman as special guests during tonight’s Mets Hot Stove, live at 7pm on SNY.

Meanwhile, in a column for SNY.tv, Ted Berg asks, “Is Omar Minaya using team's resources in most effective way,” adding:

“Yes, Minaya has put together competitive teams, and for that he should get credit.  But he's put together competitive teams with monstrous payrolls, and too often he's misread the markets or missed the big picture… Take for example the recent acquisition of Alex Cora… It's $2 million, so you'll tell me it's a drop in the bucket, and to some extent, that's true.  But what if that $2 million is the difference between signing Ben Sheets and not signing Ben Sheets?  Is it still a drop in the bucket then?”

Berg will be interviewing Minaya prior to tonight’s show for a video that will air tomorrow on SNY.tv.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, SNY, Ted Berg
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Mets GM Omar Minaya is scheduled to appear on MLB Network's Hot Stove Live tonight at 7:00 PM.
Tags: MetsBlog, Mike Nichols, Omar Minaya
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Mets GM Omar Minaya appeared live on WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show, which you can listen to by clicking here.

During the informative, and entertaining, 15-minute interview, Minaya said, ‘We got ourself a bullpen, now we’ve gotta get a starting pitchers,’ while adding:

He met yesterday with his staff, and they’re in the process of ranking starting pitchers, while considering who to make offers to.

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, WFAN
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In his Sunday Q&A for the New York Post, Steve Serby?talked with Mets GM Omar Minaya about?his week in Las Vegas, at the MLB Winter Meetings, including the series of events, his meetings with agents, players and GMs, and his super-secret, work-location at The Wynn.

?this is a fascinating discussion, and will give you all you need to know about how things go down at these Meetings?

During the discussion, Minaya explained that he had been working on a deal for J.J. Putz since the end of October.

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According to the team press release, the Mets have acquired RHP J.J. Putz, RHP Sean Green, and OF Jeremy Reed from the Mariners in a three-team trade involving 12 players.

In turn, the Mets have sent RHP Aaron Heilman, OF Endy Chavez, LHP Jason Vargas, 1B Mike Carp, OF Ezequiel Carrera and RHP Maikel Cleto to the Mariners, while sending RHP Joe Smith to the Indians.

Minaya addressed reporters from the media room in the Bellagdio and said the deal took time, but it all came together this afternoon.

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Mets GM Omar Minaya recently spoke to reporters in the team’s suite at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Minaya spoke later with SNY’s Matt Yalloff, which you can watch on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove airing at 7 pm.

Minaya again reiterated to Yalloff that the deal with Francisco Rodriguez is not complete, adding, ‘Like all deals, there are things that need to be worked out.’

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Matthew Cerrone, from MetsBlog:  Lastly, it seems like there has been a big shift in the last year or so – going away from the big time free agent signing – and it has shifted to locking up young players, such as the Rays and Evan Longoria, or even what you did with Wright and Reyes.  It seems to me, that that means there are going to be less and less free agents available on the open market in years to come.  I would assume that you are going to have to have a more concerted effort in terms of developing young talent.  However, the problem as I see it, and I feel for you on this, is that you are in a city where a lot of people have a ‘win–now mentality.’  So, the question that kept coming to me on e-mail was, ‘How do you strike that balance, between a win-now style, but also to build from within?’

Omar Minaya:  That is a very good point, and an observant point on your part.  We are in a market with a ‘win-now mentality.’  The reality is that there aren’t going to be as many free agents out there available… First off, teams economically are doing very well and they are locking up all of their young players long term.  Teams are really going to have to be more creative, you’re really going to have to be more astute from an evaluation standpoint, from a scouting standpoint, to be able to bring in guys like the John Maine, the Oliver Perez.  You are going to have to bring in guys who are having bad years and bring them in and hope that they perform well.

At the same time, from a budgetary standpoint, as much this is a ‘win-now town,’ you are going to have to give the Pelfrey’s, the Murphy’s, the Niese’s, you are going to have to give them a chance, because you just cannot rely totally on free agents.  You are going to have to rely on guys that have had bad performances in the past and slide them in, or use young guys that you hope will perform in the Major Leagues.  We’ve been fortunate with that in the last year with Pelfrey, Murphy, Evans, and Niese, who won a big game for us, even Argenis Reyes has done a good job for us… So we are going to have to find a way to blend them in, even though the market wants proven winners, because you’ve got to ‘win-now,’ that’s the bottom line.

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Matthew Cerrone, from MetsBlog:  The most-popular topic sent in to me on e-mail was the bullpen, which I am sure is no shock to you.  Basically, a lot of people referenced the Rays, noting how they were the worst bullpen in the league last year, but were able to be one of the best this year.  So, it’s possible that a team can turn it around.

In short, people are wondering, is there anything that you can learn from other organizations, like the Rays, that you can apply to the Mets?  You know, ‘picking up a player off the scrap heap,’ as they say, or refusing to give long-term contracts, as the results seem to be so sporadic from year to year?

Omar Minaya:  The Rays are a great point.  Also, if I’m not mistaken, the Phillies had a pretty bad bullpen for the last couple of years.  Bullpens are made up of guys that are hot and cold and they are hard to predict – you do the best you can.  The fact that we lost our closer, who we knew would be steady, that is something that we have to take into account.

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