The Zionist Conspiracy
Friday, March 30, 2007
Now that the 2007 season is about to start, it is appropriate to critically assess Mets GM Omar Minaya's performance during the offseason.
Following the Mets loss in the NLCS, there was a consensus that the Mets needed to make the following improvements:
1. Add an outfielder.
2. Add a second baseman.
3. Add a starting pitcher.
4. Add depth to the bullpen.
Minaya signed Moises Alou to replace Cliff Floyd. If Alou is healthy, he will be an improvement. Time will tell.
Despite the availability of several decent free agents, the Mets brought back Jose Valentin as their starting second baseman. Damion Easley will fill Chris Woodward's backup role, but is hardly a major acquisition.
Minaya correctly declined to overpay for Barry Zito, but he failed to sign or trade for any of the other available starters. Instead, he gave Orlando Hernandez a surprisingly generous two-year contract, decided to rely on John Maine and Oliver Perez as the third and fourth starters, and brought in retreads like Chan Ho Park, Aaron Sele and Jorge Sosa, while letting Steve Trachsel and Victor Zambrano go, trading Brian Bannister and refusing to move Aaron Heilman into the starting rotation.
The Mets' biggest offseason failure was with their bullpen, which is now worse than at the end of '06. Chad Bradford, Darren Oliver and Roberto Hernandez all left as free agents, with Bradford's loss the most significant. Heath Bell and Royce Ring were traded to the Padres for Ben Johnson and Jon Atkins, both of whom were disappointing in spring training. Guillermo Mota, his 50 game suspension for steroid use aside, was given a large contract. So was free agent Scott Schoeneweis. Mota and Schoeneweis were both released during the 2006 season. Ambiorix Burgos, the reliever acquired for Bannister, was touted for his strong arm, but has had a lousy spring after a terrible '06 season. The Mets underestimated the severity of the injury to Duaner Sanchez, who appears unlikely to pitch in 2007.
Overall, the Mets had a poor offseason, while other NL contenders made big moves to improve.