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It's Time to Fire Omar Minaya

Mike SteffanosMonday, July 10, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Note: please actually read this before leaving a comment. For those of you that don't get sarcasm, thanks for stopping by.

Something has been nagging me lately as I read all the reports in the papers about Omar's willingness to give up top prospects in the right deal. As much as I appreciate what Mr. Minaya has accomplished with this team in the last couple of years, and as much as I appreciate the intelligence, imagination and energy that he brings to the job, it's time for me to face up to the inescapable truth: Minaya has to go.

The final nail in his coffin comes to us courtesy of Joel Sherman of the New York Post. In a story that makes me glad that Billy Wagner is not the General Manager of the New York Mets, Mr. Sherman offers this glimpse into the mind of Minaya:

... those close to Minaya said he would be open to trading Milledge or Pelfrey, his top two prospects, if [Dontrelle] Willis were available.

Joel Sherman isn't the first columnist to share with us that Omar Minaya would trade Mike Pelfrey in the right deal. Several others have informed us of the same thing. Since we all know that New York sportswriters would never embellish the truth, we are forced to face the sad reality that Omar Minaya is incompetent to perform the job he was hired to do. You would think a baseball man that has reached the top of his profession would know the most basic rules of the game. If he had internet access and checked out the FAQ page on Baseball America's web site, he would find out that was he was trying to do was illegal:

For how long is a player unavailable to be traded? For one year after he signs? For one year after his draft day?

A player can't be traded until a year after he signs his first pro contract.

Could it be any clearer? Pelfrey signed with the Mets in January of this year, the earliest they could trade him would be January of 2007. Since sportswriter after sportswriter have all assured us that their sources tell them that Minaya is shopping Pelfrey, the only logical assumption is that Omar Minaya and his entire staff are incompetent buffoons. The only real question is why other GMs would even talk to him about Mike Pelfrey. Don't any of them know the rule? Perhaps they are all part of an elaborate practical joke being perpetrated on the sadly uninformed Mr. Minaya.

I have to admit that I wasn't totally up on this rule earlier in the year. I knew there was a moratorium period on trading drafted players, but I wasn't exactly sure of the time period. Vinny from Metsville.com left the answer in a comment on my site, and then I found the FAQ at BA. I am not a professional sportswriter making a good living supposedly informing the public based on my greater expertise. You would think that they would know the damn rule. The guys on WFAN are just as bad. I'm getting a headache listening to and reading about Mike Pelfrey trade rumors that have no basis in fact.

I'm not sure who "those close to Minaya" in Sherman's story really are, but I am fairly confident that they aren't anybody with any real knowledge of what Omar is planning to do. Same with all the "team sources" who speak on the condition of anonymity and provide equally misinformed rumors for other writers. The usher who wiped off your seat for a tip may be a "team source", but that doesn't make him credible.

As someone who strongly believes that the future of this club lies in creating a farm system that provides players rather than endless trade rumors, I could only hope that if Lastings Milledge is traded, it is not for someone like the banged up and burnt out Livan Hernandez nor some 2 month rental. What I am confident of, however, is that Mike Pelfrey will be going absolutely nowhere for no one before next January.

ESPN Insider ($): Livan
On his ESPN Insider blog, Jayson Stark quotes an unnamed GM on Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez:

I worry about his knee, especially since they want your best prospect back for him. But Livan is one of those guys who can pitch well when he wants to pitch. If he wants to pitch, he'll pitch. And if he doesn't want to pitch, he won't pitch. I think if he goes to the right team, he'll pitch. But for what it's going to cost, I'm not sure it's worth it. You don't want to pay that price and then find out you're wrong.

While it would be hard to argue against trading prospects for a young pitcher like Willis, to me Hernandez is another story. He's older, banged up, and not pitching well and has a huge contract through next year. Yet the Nationals are fairly confident that can land somebody like Milledge in return, because the market is bereft of anything palatable. Big mistake, in my mind.

ESPN: Pena Signed?
Enrique Rojas is reporting the Mets have signed 16-year-old catching prospect Francisco Pena, the son of former major-league catcher Tony Pena, although they won't announce until next week.

AP: A Mets prospect in the Futures game
Mike Fitzpatrick reports that a young Mets pitcher performed well in the All-Star Futures Game as the USA beat the World squad:

Flashing a 99 mph fastball, Matt Lindstrom of the New York Mets struck out two in the seventh and final inning for the save.

"I was floating out there. I never pitched in front of that many people. I had a great time," Lindstrom said. "Those guys told me how hard I was throwing. I didn't really realize it. I knew I had something on it today."

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets
Pro Sports Daily Mets

Comments (42)

Is this a joke? Yeah I think Allan Baird is available. Let's get him.

Yea, this has got to be a joke. Willis is a young player who has proven himself. If he traded lastings for livan hernandez then I'd be the first in line to hang him.

Let me let you in a little secret it's the super cool option as adding Mike Pelfrey as the "PTBNL".
Billy Beane did this with Jeremy Bonderman. It was the wierd trade that brought Weaver to the Yanks.
So if you do a deal now, Milledge and Pelfrey for D-Train, you can have Pelfrey as the player to be named later and incldue him next March or something.

I think, or should I say hope, that it is just names being thrown around. Alot of if's and what if kind of talk. Two GM's sitting at the bar, and one say's, what would it take to get so&so, and the other would say, if it was possible, it would take so&so. The one would say, if it was possible I would make that trade. The guy at the end of the bar runs to the phone, I just heard. And then it's in print. I hope thats all it is.

I'm usually in agreement with you, but you lost me on this one. Omar is a great young GM and he's going nowhere. Your speculation is just that, speculation. Until he moves Lastings for a Livan type, i'll reserve the "Omar must go" propaganda. But hey, it's your "blog" do what ya gotta do.

Whoever thinks Minaya has to go is a clown...go play with your dog and stop posting such ludicrous nonsense...the mets are in first place because minaya is the mastermind. Wake up dude, and that picture of you and your dog is super lame...hahahaha...I can't believe you would post such tomfoolery on the internet

I'd be nice if you read what he wrote than just the title. Because the title really has nothing to do with the body of his message.

I have to say I would absolutely love a trade of Lastings or Pelfrey for Willis. Willis is one of the most exciting players in the game. He can do it all...hit/pitch/field. He would be a guy you would want to build a franchise on like Reyes and Wright. The guy has a great charisma and personality that fires up a club. He is proven, young, and under contract for a few years still and would definitely solidify the rotation. Like everyone else I certainly wouldn't trade those guys for rental players for the rest of the season (Mora and Bay come to mind).

What kind of a moron are you? Omar should be fired because of a factual error in an anonymous quote in a newspaper that isn't even attributed to him? Have you checked the standings? Have you looked at the stats for Endy Chavez, Jose Valentin, Xavier Nady, Duaner Sanchez, and all the other guys Omar brought in? Here's a better idea--fire yourself for this lame blog.

I'm sorry for those of you that need something to be spelled out literally to understand it. Okay, here you go -- I don't believe that Omar should be fired. I was making a sarcastic statement towards those in the media that talk about something that has no basis in reality. Don't want to read this blog anymore? -- don't let the internet hit you on the way out...

Thanks Benny for getting it.

Benny, you have a point on the Player to be named later, if MLB would allow it. I'd be surprised if they let a team circumvent the rules so blatantly, however, and what does the team trading for the prospect do if the prospect gets hurt? I have a feeling if Florida really wanted to trade Willis they could get top prospects without waiting for them. Who knows. I'm just tired of hearing those that are supposed to be experts talking about trading Pelfrey.

Rev, I think there are enough teams out there desperate for help that the Nats feel they can pry loose a top-level prospect for Livan. If they were willing to eat some salary, it could happen. If the Marlins were willing to part with Willis it might take both Milledge and a Pelfrey-caliber pitcher to get him.
Clay, I appreciate that you disagreed with me without looking to run me out of town. I really was kidding, I have no desire to see Omar go.
Evan, I'm so hurt that you don't like my dog. Unlike you, she was smart enough to understand humor that wasn't spelled out in small words. I'd guess I'd rather be a guy that has a lame picture with his dog on the web than a guy who proved that he wasn't very bright in a comment on that site, but that's just me.
Dallas, as I said I think if the Marlins trade Willis it will be for more than 1 good prospect.

This is where not thinking you know everything about baseball comes in handy. I got your sarcasm, Mike, and I thought the article was great and very well-written, and also taught me something about trading rules, something I am just starting to understand. But at no point did I think you actually wanted to fire Omar :)

Remember those first emails that went out from deskofomar@nymets.com? TBF suspects it was a real email address that had to get killed when some moron IT guy didn't make an alias to send from. He often wonders what would happen if he sent mail to that address ;)

I appreciate that. Love your blog, by the way. Most of us fans probably wouldn't know the trading rules, but men that are paid to be experts for the rest of us really need to.

Call me crazy but I'd give away half the farm for D-train.

Dallas -- I agree with you, I guess, but then you hope like hell he doesn't get hurt. The Marlins would be crazy to trade him for anything less than 2 great prospects. If I was the Marlins GM I'd be looking for a top position prospect like Milledge and a couple of really good pitching prospects. That's a steep price, but I bet he can get it.

I think you fail to see the utter brilliance of this move by Omar. He's such a great general manager that he is able to trade people he isn't allowed to trade!

This opens all sorts of possibilities. Why stick with players that are part of your organization? Omar is setting things up to trade players from other teams to get players for the Mets. He can, for instance, send Albert Pujols to the Diamondbacks and get Brandon Webb in return. This would give the Mets a front line starter, and weaken the Cardinals to weaken one opponent. We can then trade David Ortiz to Cincinnati and get Bronson Arroyo.

Then he can start traveling through time (there is nothing Omar can't do!). Trade Anderson Hernandez for Sandy Koufax in his prime. Or just purchase Lefty Grove from Baltimore (Omar has considerably more money to play with than Connie Mack; the $25,000 that Mack paid for him is chump change).

I understand Cy Young might be a free agent, so Omar can sign him at the beginning of his career. Maybe even Walter Johnson is available.

We need to think big and show that sort of imagination that makes Omar a genius.

RealityChuck -- Judging by your email you're not from around here, but if you're ever in the area I owe you a beer. Sheer genius.


you do a great service/job. You have a fan base.

I am nuts but I would close the door on the Marlins & Tampa pipeline. FLA are already too good. How soon we forget.....Mike Jacobs was organizational player two yrs in a row. He made Huber expendable (and is proving it). Petit, Psomas and Gabby were top prospects. Already Jacobs and Petit could say alot about the Mets future in THESE playoffs and Jacobs made ALOT of noise this past weekend.

That said I said before Nady was acquired because Beane lusted after him. With Owens up, Bannister (Soler) and Maine in tow, Ahern et al. I think Omar could get Zito for Heilman and Nady. Throw in Carlos gomez/Concepcion to make it a no brainer. The other starter out there is Schmidt and Batista. Batista out of ALL THREE has been there and DONE it against the Yanks.
I can see needing floyd in the playoffs, and I like a four man OF with Chavez and Milledge getting time mainly in RF.

Speaking of all world Mets OF prospects; Alex Escobar had a career day yesterday. And Mel mora is just .........

I wouldn't trade Heilman and Nady for Zito unless I knew he would sign, and Beane isn't likely to move him with the A's in first anyway. Schmidt would be the same deal. Batista I wouldn't give up much for, but unless someone starts running away with the NL west, I'm not sure why Az. would deal.

THe A's do NOT trade Zito for 1 reason.
They're GOOD and they're trying to not only make the playoffs but win it all. And they have all the "tools" to win it all.
Trading Barry Zito is NOT going to help them. The A's do NOT trade Zito, unless they lose the next 20 games.
It just doens't help them. I want these Zito's rumors to stop because at this point, now it's just retarded.
It's like the Mets trading Tom Glavine, doensn't make any sense and not going to help.

I agree with you, Benny. Beane has shown in the past that he'll hold onto a guy playing out his option when the team is winning.


I am not 100 percent sure the one year rule applies if the guy goes to the majors, but lets assume it does. Omar can still trade Pelfrey.

If a deal is done for Pelfrey at the deadline [July 31], the Mets may shut him down for some mysterious injury - for the last month of the minor league season or just say it's an innings count or whatever and call him a player to be named later in the trade. Then, they complete the deal in January when he one year is up.

It's not a traditional trade, but it has been done before and can legally be done now.


So yes, Omar can trade Pelfrey, it's just the paper

Maybe Sherman read your post? His column today revisits the story, but adds:

Unless, that is, the Mets would pair up Pelfrey (who technically is not eligible to be dealt until a year from signing his first pro contract, which is January 2007)

I don't know what technicality he's talking about, but at least he knows the rule now.

Mike- I personally love the photo of you and Ricki (I think that was the doggie's name right?)
I think it shows a guy with passion and heart-which your regular readers all know that you possess both.

I agree with Shari, and I like your doggie too.

I feel for you Mike. From here on out, it seems you will have to include instructions on how to read with every post you make to avoid from being crucified.
Those "guys" on the fans are retards. We all know that. It's even scarier that the resident WFAN Mets fan, Joe Beningo, doesn't even know the rules. Sucks that I have to wait until 11pm every night to get decent Mets talk from the man, Steve Sommers.

Anyways, keep up the good work Mike. If anyone has a problem with your dog, my pitbull got it's back.

Thanks Joe, Benny Blanco from da Bronx made the same point earlier and of course you both are right.
David W, I doubt that too many professional journalists spend much time here. I was singling Sherman out anyway, as countless others have said the same thing. And as Joe and Benny have pointed out, there is the PTBNL.
Thanks Shari and Rev. Don't worry, if cracks about the dog bothered me I would have taken the pic down a long time ago.
Chris, the dog in the picture has been gone for a few years, but she would have appreciated the thought. Thanks for the support.

Mike: it wouldn't be the first, second, third, fourth or fifth time that a professional journalist, out of ideas, would read widely-linked/read blogs to come up with something to write about. Don't sell yourself short on that front. It happens CONSTANTLY with entertainment journalism, and I find it a detestible practice. I wouldn't mind if they bothered to provide any kind of reasonable attribution or credit, but no one wants to show anyone else (writers, editors, managing editors=bosses) where they get their ideas from. if they did, they might not be so highly paid any more.

mets grrl - It's not an idea, just a rule. I'm not the only one that was aware of the rule, so anyone could have mentioned it to Joel Sherman. In fairness to him, I took him to task without taking into account the old "player to be named later" deal which makes the trade at least possible. Anyway, I like Joel Sherman, who isn't pompous and full of himself as some are in the profession.


Congratulations on getting through your first internet controversy. I'm no stranger to it myself...and I feel your pain!

And your dog rules!!!

Pretty silly as far as controversies go, but I appreciate it, for me and the dog.

Wow, people really need to read more closely eh?
I was very annoyed with Sherman, and put it in my blog.
Love how he corrected it the next day, I caught that as well.

I guess he wasn't really wrong, Ed, as Pelfrey can be included as a player to be named later as long as the trade is completed within 6 months. Since Pelfrey was signed in January he could be traded at the deadline, which is less than 6 months away from his anniversary.

First off be careful of Sherman's column and his opinion. I have known Joel personally for quite some time and know that his required reporting of the Mets is necessary aside from his personal love for the Yankees.

As for Minaya, yes he has to go - the experiment is not working! His reluctance to visit non-latino utility players does send a bad message to not only his own team but to the entire potential prospects for the Mets.

Wilpon needs to wake up - if anyone is to shake up the team it should come from that portion of teh front office - Minaya is NOT the team owner, and his shit does stink.

I would give Randolph one more year without Minaya at the helm before I would choose to go the other way.

Minaya's lack lustre performance as a GM should be amplified more so than Randolphs questionable moves on the field.

I agree 100%. Minaya puts these Latinos who are past their prime on this team because they are his cronies, and look at the '07 MET DOWN! FIRE OMAR MINAYA!

After the gutless, classless midnight firing of Willie Randolph after forcing Willie to make a cross-country trip with the team, Omar Minaya has proven himself to be one of the worst, if not THE worst, executives in baseball. Absolutely disgraceful.

I ran into Davey at a Magic basketball game here in Orlando, and he even agreed Omar "MY METINOS ARE IN A SEPTEMBER SIESTA" Minaya is a joke! As for the guy with the photo of his dog, YOU TELL 'EM, DUDE!


keep omar so the mets can suck for life!!!! hahahah..losers!

Clay Claymore couldn't be MORE wrong...Omar is a moron...did you hear his press conference yesterday? I'm ashamed to be a fan of a ballclub with that moron of a general manager...He can't even speak proper ENGLISH! Go back to school Omar...and someone please fire him now!

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