eMail Q&A: Omar Minaya doesn’t get enough credit for rebuild

Mail IconMichael from Bayonne, a reader of MetsBlog:

I think it’s sad that no one gives Omar Minaya any credit for Matt Harvey and some of the other players Sandy Alderson is leaning on during this rebuild. Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud were had by trading R.A. Dickey, who wouldn’t have been on the Mets if not for Omar. Minaya also signed Carlos Beltran, who was eventually used by Alderson to get Zach Wheeler. Minaya was run out of town, but he should get some credit, shouldn’t he?

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

It’s worth noting that Minaya kept David Wright and Jose Reyes, despite several opportunities to trade them. He is also responsible for drafting Harvey, Dillon Gee, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Jon Niese, Ruben Tejada, Juan Lagares, Bobby Parnell, Daniel Murphy and Josh Satin, as well as acquiring minor leaguers Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, Cesar Puello, Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Steven Matz, Jeff Walters and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Minaya spent wildly and created a concentration in payroll that tipped the franchise over when people got hurt or turned unproductive. That said, Mets fans got a few pennant races (some falling one game short), an NLCS, Harvey and some pretty good memories. It wasn’t a total waste by any stretch of the imagination.

That said, he left the big-league roster in shambles. Alderson was tasked with the monumental effort of sifting through and building up the farm, while restructuring future payrolls, which has made for a really long five years.


Speaking of Minaya, he gave an informative, insightful Q&A with Teddy Klein from Mets Merized Online about the importance of baseball in developing countries, which you can read here




171 comments
Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

lol, it took a 92 loss season just to be in position to draft a guy like Harvey......terrible GM, high payrolls to work with and pissed it away......Awful scouting and drafting in general

Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

Minaya is a huge reason why the Mets have been so bad the last 5 years

Steve Clifford
Steve Clifford

all we do is make excuses for Alderson.. he's produced nothing but losing...

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Minaya was also lucky to get Harvey. He had to be pushed into making that pick. UNC was recruiting my son this past summer and I got to talking to their recruiting coordinator about him and he said it was a veteran scout (Lamb I think) that took the time to actually sit down and talk to Harvey and then the pitching coach Forbes about him. Forbes told him how Harvey actually scared him with how intense he'd get. Harvey was very inconsistent. A bad senior year in HS, great freshman year at UNC, bad soph. year. Then he apparently worked on his mechanics in the Cape Cod league after his soph. year and came back and was a bull his junior year. He had games where he threw 150 pitches in his junior year but refused to come out. A lot of people were some what scared of his inconsistency but Lamb compared him to Verlander. And he pushed like crazy for him. 

Patrick Boegel
Patrick Boegel

The concentration of payroll MEME is a total bunch of crap that has nothing to do with why the Mets are in dire straits right now.



Metsnow
Metsnow

Credit for what?? This team is still in a state of disarray. We have a payroll equivalent to a market about the size of Paducah, we have no legit SS or 1B, we have an extremely fragile starting rotation and a bullpen full of no names and has-beens. The outfield could still use an upgrade and our bench looks like a triple a roster. Don't get me wrong I love the Mets and hope they succeed...But nothing that's going on presently deserves credit.

fast_eddie
fast_eddie

Whether you want to "credit" Minaya or Alderson or a little of both, there really isn't much to go crazy about UNTIL we start winning. Its difficult to give out any real credit when the team consistently hovers around 75 wins every year. The so callled "credit" will be given to someone once we are a playoff team again. And since our payroll barely cracks 85 milllion, that may not happen for another couple of years...and that's only if our young guys pan out like we are hoping they will.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

It;s also important to realize that Omar and SA also have had different draft philosophies. Every one of Omar's first picks were college kids, while SA has taken all high school kids. Omar drafted kids who he thought would get to the ML's faster. While SA takes the approach of getting the kid with the highest ceiling. Obviously then it in theory should take those kids longer to develop and contribute to the ML team. I get SA's approach but in the Met's situation they could have then to supplement that approach spent a bit more on free agents.

scrubsdoc
scrubsdoc

Imagine buying the Daily News this morning, only to find a blank front page (and yesterday's news).

Mark Griffith
Mark Griffith

Minaya was a disaster. His run can be defined by bad contracts (Bay, Castillo, Perez), front office gaffes (Bernazard, Adam Rubin presser) and a completely depleted minor league system. And for all the talk on evaluator of  talent, his first round draft picks in his tenure were: Pelfrey, Eddie Kunz, Ike Davis, Reese Havens, Brad Holt, Nathan Vineyard and Matt Harvey. Two years, we didn't even have a first round pick. In the post M. Donald Grant era, he was the worst GM we had. 

Russ Sullivan
Russ Sullivan

When was Harvey an average pitcher. He was a future star with huge upside and a rocket for an arm. Last year didn't surprise people maybe because he got so good so fast. People like to rag on Omar but the fact is if it wasn't for a few collapses we would have won the division more then once and would have made the playoffs a few times as well. And collapses at the end of season are mostly on the players not management. We had a pretty solid team for awhile but for some reason we've been cursed with huge injuries and players just not playing to there ability.

MMIAA
MMIAA

You do realize that Omar drafted 360 players during his time here. He also had unlimited funds to sign international free agents. So base on the fact you name a lot of people aht have had no impact on this team........there you go

TRex
TRex

Matt, you forget that Omar Minaya was really run out of town because of the awful contracts he handed out to Luis Castillo, Jason Bay and Johann Santana and for how those awful contracts didn't translate to success on the field.  Not to mention, how they have hamstrung the Mets going forward as we waited to get these albatrosses off our back.  And then there was his belief that every Latin player he could uncover was going to be a diamond in the rough.  He most definitely made some good moves and he rightly should be commended for that.  However, in total, his reign was not successful and neither has Sandy Alderson's been so far.  Sandy has had some success, but he has also had a huge failure -- Frank Francisco.  It is too early to determine whether Sandy is going to be successful or not, but one thing is for sure -- while we can blame the lack of success in the past three years on some of Minaya's moves stifling the Mets, it's starting to get late for Sandy and company. 

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

to me other then the years and the money on Oliver Perez i had no real issue with many of his moves i understand why fans were against Bay after the fact or Castillo after the dropped ball but overall many of the moves were ok and not all his doing like Bay was that we were openning up a new ballpark and that they did not want to spend for Halladay or Lackey and Bay's track record up to coming was good in hidsight it turn out bad . But many guys including Harvey came from Omar's drafts   i had hardly any issues with him all Gms make good and bad decissions. we only complained when his deals did not work out spending alot of money but all still want Sandy to spend more money .

Michael T Carr
Michael T Carr

They had ONE playoff appearance...not multiple pennant runs. The pennant goes to the winner of the National League, not the winner of the division. So, no, they did not have multiple pennant races if they were only in the playoffs once.

rubiconx0
rubiconx0

so that means we should all thank Omar for Ike, Duda, Tejada,Kirk, look at all the playoff appearances they got us too, all the gifts that just keep on giving,not to mention his failed "Los Mets experiment!  now all together now THANKS OMAR!!

Sharif Salameh
Sharif Salameh

He doesn't deserve credit at all.   The rebuild first off hasn't been successful enough for anyone to deserve credit.  Secondly, the assets we acquired and minor leaguers who appear to have potential are a product of Sandy's player management.  Some of these guys would have been spun around for aging veterans and other bandaids.  I think this is a silly post all around.  

arc34
arc34

Omar was one of the worse GM's this organization has ever had.  He had far more payroll to use compared to Sandy or any other Met GM before him.  He spent money foolishly.  Left the bullpen short over multiple seasons....painted himself into corners with payroll and little roster flexibility and was unable to make mid-season  deals to help the big league club.  Signed Bay to one of the worse FA contracts EVER....heck, he was raising Bay's and Castillo's price's against himself....their agents played him horribly.  Bay's, Castillo's and Perez's, et al contracts....all had poison pill language in them that hamstrung this organization for years, and Sandy for the past three years.  The trades he made were just as bad.....would have been nice to have Heath Bell when our bullpen was sucking the life out of the team for three seasons in a row during a late season pushes for the playoffs.  This is when Bell was killing it for the Padres...oh well.  I could write a ten thousand word essay on the mistakes Omar made with personnel (players, coaches (minor and major), FA signings and trades....his saving grace will be his drafting, considering the average fan would know to hold onto  Wright and Reyes.  Will see over the next few years how the careers of his draftees turn out and what kind of pitcher Harvey is post TJ....no guarantee he will still be dominating, hope so of course. Now to catch some zzzz's



steve333
steve333

What a ridiculous argument.

maybe we should thank Sandy for the job the next GM does?

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

Wait, wait wait...at least 5 of those starters (in your list) are the ones trying to be replaced by this rebuild, and at least 3 others have been looked at as trade chips (that no one wants).

Charles Gruber Jr.
Charles Gruber Jr.

I liked Omar, he definitely could've done a way better job though. I don't get what this emailer wants him to get credit for. Have we won something while I wasn't paying attention ? Yeah, we got Harvey and a few nice pieces along with the nobodies mentioned above. Credit for what ?

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

He drafted Harvey...an average pitcher in every way.  Before the draft, after the draft...even in the Minors, Harvey was nothing special.  No one saw what was coming last season. No one.  Anyone who says otherwise, is pulling it out of you know where.  Everyone is so busy trying to pat themselves on the back...how about PUTTING TOGETHER A COMPETENT BASEBALL TEAM FIRST!  Because that hasn't happened yet.

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

He drafted Harvey...an average pitcher in every way...no one saw what was coming last season. No one. Everyone is so busy trying to pat themselves on the back...how about PUTTING TOGETHER A COMPETENT BASEBALL TEAM FIRST!

philoso
philoso

The Omar Minaya reign was marked with alot of "bad luck" involving injuries. In subsequent summers, we lost (in no particular order) Billy Wagner, Duaner Sanchez and Pedro Martinez. Lose your top starting pitcher (one of the 5 best in the NL), your closer (one of the 3 best in the NL) and your set-up man (best in the NL) and its tough to win games.

The Sanchez move was really devastating because it was a non-baseball related injury while sitting inside a taxi. Duaner had greatness in his future but that accident ruined his career.

Of course injuries are part of the game but losing those 3 guys killed the Mets.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

In the 3+ years since Minaya was shown the door the Mets have been an unmitigated disaster.  It's not like he stockpiled the system with studs that now dominate the 40 man roster.  Last I checked it was about quality and not quantity.  That list is the envy of no one.  

Keith Appell
Keith Appell

Sorry, Omar completely blew addressing the obvious problem that our bullpen sucked. If it wasn't telegraphed for him in the 2006 NLCS it was so obvious in 2007 that beat writers were writing about it well before the all star game. This blunder cost the Mets two playoff appearances, probably two divisional titles and who knows what else. I don't care who he drafted, this 8 year dive is on him.

Bob Giacalone
Bob Giacalone

Good analysis Cerrone. "It wasn’t a total waste by any stretch of the imagination." That's what I love about your analyses...you say nothing so well.

MMIAA
MMIAA

omar minaya is an idiot  Harvey was a no brainer please.......

Scott Bruckenstein
Scott Bruckenstein

Harvey is the only guy worth mentioning that Minaya drafted, to bring up those other guys is rediculous

eric88
eric88

Sandy's only successes that I can see is trading away assets left by Minaya for well known Minor league blue chipper's. Everything else that Sandy did was a big flop! Notone good trade in 3 years. He stinks

fast_eddie
fast_eddie

@Metsnow 


Yep, that was my point exactly. Tough to give out any sort of credit at this point when the team hasn't even sniffed .500 baseball for the past few years and our payroll is among the lowest in the league. Give Alderson a budget of say 120 million and THEN let's see if we can dish out the credit or not.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Tarheel11 Another of the critiques of Omar was him settling for way too many guys that profiles as rp as soon as they were drafted and not taking advantge of the Mets' resources to advance in the draft.  Fair or not, those are legitimate concerns.

We're starting to see dividends from SA's draft strategies and I hope we finally get a pipeline of guys coming up.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@TRex Minaya was done when the guys he signed to big FA contracts turned out bad.  Frank Francisco was not going to be an important piece to any successful team.  Alderson's MO so far has been to sign these type of players with the hope of trading them for a prospect at the trade deadline.

If you think it's getting late for Alderson,  I don't think you understand how hard it is to build an organization that will have success year after year.  The minor leagues now have some good young pitching prospects but still not much in the way of offensive players.  My guess is SA will trade a good young pitcher for a good young hitter once he identifies somebody that can be had. That's when signing a great player via free agency will make sense.

As a Mets fan it's difficult to have to go through a complete rebuilding of the organization,  but there are some players to be truly excited about going down the road.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@TRex He was run out of town due to the bad contracts that were crippling the Mets but also due to the fact that the minor leagues were a wasteland. Was one of the worst in all of baseball. 

I just looked up his trade history. He made 48 trades in 7 years with the Mets! None of them really came back to haunt them other than basically giving away Bell, Owens and Lindstrom. And he did make nice moves to pick up Delgado, Lo Duca and turning Benson into John Maine. Although at least Benson's wife was hot! Psycho but hot! 

But he is known for what most people call the worst trade in history while with Montreal in the Colon deal. And when he came here he was like a kid in the candy store coming from broke Montreal to big market NY and acted like it signing everybody he could. 

And if you want to give him credit for Beltran, take into account that Beltran tried to go to the Yankees instead of our offer. It's easy to get the Beltran's and Pedro's of the world when we gave them so much more money than anyone else. Getting those guys was a function of the money, not Omar. 


mets2014
mets2014

@TRex if frank Francisco is the worst signing that alderson makes, i'll take that...one other thing to consider, when minaya took over, the mets basically had nothing so he just had to add...when alderson took over the mets had very little in terms of talent and a lot of bad contracts to deal with so he had to add AND subtract while encountering a reduced payroll...not easy

Hodges14
Hodges14

@TRex Scratch Santana from that list and insert Oliver Perez.

philoso
philoso

You make some great points arc34.

To be fair, no one could have predicted that Johan's shoulder would blow-up (twice) and burden this team so fundamentally. If Johan continued to be the Cy Young pitcher, I think this is a very different team.

Jason Bay was a no doubt mistake but who could have forseen that he would lose it so quickly? Still a crappy move by Omar.

Ollie, though, was a different issue. He was a 26 year old; entering his prime whose best previous seasons were pretty good. He was forecasted to (at least) become a league average innings eater. I guess all that money got him lazy or something but how does a 27 year old pitcher crash and burn like that?

Overall, Omar was a bad GM but with a couple of breaks, we could have been a bigger winner with those clubs.

philoso
philoso

Nothing special? Who is "special" to you?

The kid was the 7th pick in the 2010 draft. He was rated one of the 40 top minor league prospects by most of the publications for a number of years before making to the big club. What else did you want?

Hodges14
Hodges14

@philoso Sanchez' injury was bad luck.  Wagner was in his late 30s when he got hurt and was pitching with a sore arm when he blew out his elbow.  Martinez had a partially torn labrum when he signed with the Mets.  Not sure how it's bad luck that a player who was already injured got injured.

arc34
arc34

@philoso ...and he responded to those losses with "deer in the headlight look"...totally over his head.

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

@MMIAA while i agree that Minaya is not a genius (I actually liked him).  But Harvey was FAR, FAR from a no brainer.  No one fore saw what he would do last season.  He was average at best before being drafted, and was a no nothing in the minors.  Everything just clicked in the majors for him...for one season.  So far.

Glorious Gavin
Glorious Gavin

@eric88 Byrd was a flop. Hawkins was a flop. Not one good trade in 3 years, except for all of the good trades.

mets2014
mets2014

@bklyndude@TRex I think they may hold on to the "young" pitchers like Montero and thor and instead trade an "old" pitcher like Gee who is building a nice resume for himself and is under team control through 2016 but may be too pricey as a number 5 for the mets in 2015 & 2016

Hodges14
Hodges14

@Tarheel11 @TRex The Wilpons involvement with Madoff is what crippled the Mets.  Not any bad contracts.

mets2014
mets2014

@mets2014 I want to retract...the mets had more than "very little" talent when alderson took over

mets2014
mets2014

@bklyndude I just think guys like gee, murphy and parnell are going to have a lot of value come the trade deadline (provided they perform as they are expected to), because they will not be viewed as a rental since the team that acquires them will control them beyond this coming season...it's a win-win because by making these trades not only are the mets getting young major league ready players in return but they are ridding themselves of salaries that can be replaced with minimum salaries...for example if they trade gee, murphy and parnell at the trade deadline they could easily be replaced internally with Montero or thor, flores and vic black respectively and in the meantime they added major league ready players to the queue as well as relieved themselves of $15M in annual salary, which they can perhaps invest in a RF or SS if they didn't get them in the aforementioned trades

bklyndude
bklyndude

@mets2014 @bklyndude @TRex Possibly,  but it depends on how other teams value both guys.  I know Gee had a good year last year,  but will he have similar success year after year.

At some point the Mets will have to give up something really good to get something really good,  that's how trades work.