Oct 4, 2010

Whats Next For The Mets?

With the recent news of Omar Minaya leaving the post of the New York Mets' general manager, there is a great amount of anticipation as to who will claim the position and how will they transform the franchise. Perhaps they operate on the same ideas and goals that Minaya did or maybe they have a fire sale and reboot the team.

In this post I am not going to speculate as to who might or might not claim the job. Those type of decisions are extremely hard to determine especially with all the internal options that the Mets might have in their offices. Instead, I am going to simply speculate as to how the team might work now that Omar Minaya is no longer the general manager.

With a vacancy left open following the 2004 season, Minaya returned to his position as Mets GM and has been there since. Immediately upon returning Minaya made two big acquisitions in Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez. A year later he added Carlos Delgado and Billy Wagner as well as many more players. With these big names, the Mets won the NL East in 2006 with 97 wins. In 2008, he added Johan Santana and then Francisco Rodriguez in 2009. Minaya's tenure also saw the emergence of stars David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Now, at the end of 2010, the Mets find themselves in a disappointing third place in the NL East and searching for a new general manager. When they do, I believe changes may come very quickly.

Since Minaya took the reigns in 2004, the Mets payroll has increased a substantial amount from approximately $96 mil to $126 mil.

Even with that $126 million dollar payroll, the Mets only had one player (David Wright) with more than 20 homers, one player (Wright) with over 100 RBIs and one player (Wright) with a slugging percentage of over .450. That is before even mentioning the catastrophe in Oliver Perez who pitched a whopping 46.1 innings and posted a 6.80 ERA this season. Such an extreme payroll gives the Mets absolutely no room to improve in its problem areas.

The large contracts of many of their players mixed with the under performance of nearly all of their players could cause the new Mets GM to look to deal some of its highly coveted pieces. I could imagine a situation where the Mets would begin to shop players like Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran. All of these contracts are very pricey and the Mets would likely have to eat some of the mney in order to move these players.

The justification for these players would be that the Mets could receive some good pitching talent and young players. Guys like Santana and Reyes would likely fetch some top prospects while Rodriguez and Beltran could land the them some decent prospects with high upsides.

One shocking deal could involve moving David Wright. Although extremely unlikely, Wright would be well sought after and could land some major prospects. Interested teams could include the Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, Cardinals, White Sox, Rangers and A's.

In order for the Mets to make it back to the top, they must find a way to shed some of the lengthy and expensive contracts. By doing this they open up some flexibility to grow, regroup and possibly contend in the near future. If they do not, they will be stuck with a team of aging veterans.

While Omar Minaya believed in the team he built, another general manager may not be so optimistic.

My advice to the future GM:

Sell and Rebuild.

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