Posts Tagged ‘Omar Minaya’

New York Mets Officially Hire Wayne Krivsky: Minaya’s Seat Just Got Hotter

December 4, 2009

According to current New York Mets beat writer and future Director of Player Development Adam Rubin, the Mets have officially announced the hiring of former Cincinnati Reds’ GM Wayne Krivsky as special assistant to GM Omar Minaya.

Despite having “assistant” in his title, trust me when I tell you, Krivsky will not be answering the phone for Minaya. And trust me when I tell you, Minaya had nothing to do with this hire.

Minaya is on the hot seat in Flushing

The Mets are trying to bring in as many quality baseball people as possible, so not only can they try to right the ship for 2010, but when they eventually do get rid of Minaya, they have internal options.

In my opinion, Krivsky will be the next GM of the Mets.

At this point, Minaya is just a fugure head. He is the Bobby Bowden of the Mets–minus the success or credibility.

From what I have been hearing, Minaya has little or no power with the Mets anymore. Jeff Wilpon is the one calling the shots in Flushing.

The only reason the Mets have not fired Minaya after his disaster both on and off the field is because he signed a three-year extension that just kicks in next year and the Mets don’t want to pay his salary.

Are there two bigger lame ducks in baseball than Minaya and Jerry Manuel?

Last month the Mets hired Wally Backman, who is a good bet to replace Manuel–to manage the Brooklyn Cyclones–a move I have been saying the Mets should make for years. And now they have hired Minaya’s eventual replacement in Krivsky.

My guess is Minaya and Manuel won’t be around for the 2011 season.

This will be Krivsky’s second stint with the Mets. He held the same title in 2008 before leaving to take a similar position with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009.

The fact Krivsky would leave a team and an organization on the rise to come to a dysfunctional organization just strengthens my belief that he came to the Mets to eventually become the GM.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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New York Mets Re-sign, Overpay Alex Cora

December 1, 2009

According to the Associated Press, the New York Mets have re-signed utility infielder Alex Cora to a one-year, $2 million contract with $2 million vesting option for 2011 if Cora starts 80 games.

Cora is a "Veteran Presence"

This is a classic “Veteran Presence” vs. “Glue Guy” signing by the Mets.

My definition of a “Veteran Presence” is a washed up player, who tries to latch on with a team. They really have nothing to offer a team except being a good clubhouse guy.

Cliff Floyd last year with the San Diego Padres is a perfect example of a “Veteran Presence.”

My definition of a “Glue Guy” is a veteran guy, who still has something left and comes to a new team and brings them together both on the field and off. The greatest example of a “Glue Guy” would be Terry Pendleton of the Atlanta Braves in 1991.

The Mets decided to re-sign a “Veteran Presence” in Cora. Normally I don’t have a problem with a signing like Cora. Most teams in baseball have a player like Cora on their team.

However, paying a player like Cora $2 million is ludicrous.

Look at it from this perspective. The Chicago White Sox just signed Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel for a COMBINED $1.7 million.

Vizquel, despite being 43-years-old can still play defense with anyone. Jones still has the ability to hit a home run off the bench.

Cora has the ability to do neither. Cora’s OPS dipped from .719 in 2008 to .630, he can’t hit for power off the bench, and at 34-years-old (Cora will be 35 at the end of next season) Cora is a mediocre fielder at this point in his career.

Why Mets GM Omar Minya felt the need to sign Cora for $2 million at the beginning of the free agency period is beyond me. There were no other teams in on Cora.

Minaya could have waited until February to sign Cora and probably could have signed him to a deal anywhere between $500 thousand and $1 million.

Essentially what Minaya did was bid against himself.

A move like this shouldn’t be surprising to Mets fans because this is the same GM who gave a 48-year-old Julio Franco a two-year contract in 2006 when no other team was even willing to give him a one-year deal.

The more moves the Mets make, the more I am convinced they have no clue how to do business. Signing a “Veteran Presence” to a $2 million contract is just another example of that.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Blue Jays Vernon Wells Undergoes Wrist Surgery

November 14, 2009

According to the Toronto Star, Toronto Blue Jays OF Vernon Wells had surgery on Thursday to repair cartilage damage in his left wrist.

The surgery was a success and Wells is expected to be ready by spring training.

Vernon Wells

Want Halladay? Trade for Wells

Wells, who played with pain in his wrist all season hit a disappointing .250 with 15 home runs with a .711 OPS. Really not what the Blue Jays were hoping for when they signed him to that enormous contract.

That’s the type of contract that will get a GM fired–oh wait, it did.

Ever since Wells signed his seven-year, $126 million contract after the 2006 season, he has had nothing but bad luck.

In 2007, Wells hurt his shoulder and broke his wrist

In 2008, Wells had a groin injury

In 2009, Wells was playing with a left wrist injury.

If I was a GM who was interesting and could afford Roy Halladay–which eliminates two-thirds of teams in baseball–here is what I would do.

I would call up the Blue Jays and say I want to trade for Halladay and I will also take half of Wells’ contract off your hands. That would be the easiest way to acquire Halladay without giving away your farm system.

The Blue Jays would jump at the opportunity to get rid of at least half of Wells’ contract.

If you are Omar Minaya of the New York Mets or Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox, why wouldn’t you propose something like this? Both teams have an opening in left, where Wells could move to and both GM’s have the finances to pull something like this off.

$10 million for Wells doesn’t look as bad as the $23 million the Blue Jays would be paying Wells by themselves. And we all know that as soon as Wells leaves Toronto, he probably is going to have a great year.

That’s just the way sports work. A guy gets a change of scenery and becomes rejuvenated. We have seen it time and time again.

And I wouldn’t worry about Wells’ no-trade clause.

My guess is that Wells would waive his no-trade clause just to get out of Toronto. The Blue Jays are clearly rebuilding and I am sure Wells wants a change of scenery at this point.

That would by way to get Halladay. Take Wells, you get Halladay, and then you do a whole lot of praying that Wells remembers how to hit.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

10 Things We Learned About Baseball In July…

August 6, 2009

Outside of April, the month of July might be the best month of the baseball season. You have got the All-Star Game, the trading deadline, and the pennant races really start to heat up.

This July lived up to expectations as the we had a great All-Star Game, the last hour of the trading deadline was crazy, and the division races (the NL West not included) really heated up.

Here are the 10 things we learned about baseball in the month of July…

10. Omar Minaya has a meltdown. Only the New York Mets could hold a press conference to fire a VP for Player Development and have it turn into a clown show.

In the middle of the press conference, in which the Mets announced Tony Bernazard was being relieved of his duties, Mets’ GM Omar Minaya went off on a tangent about how Mets’ beat writer Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News was lobbying for Bernazard’s job. Say what???

To say it was bizarre was the understatement of the century. Minaya has since issued an apology, but his job is definitely on shaky ground.

Staying in the Big Apple…

Jeter had plenty of reasons to smile in July

Jeter had plenty of reasons to smile in July

9. The New York Yankees were surging. The Yankees started the month 2.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. They even were three games out at the All Star break.

Then the Yankees won 10 out of 11 and opened a 3.5 game lead on the rival Red Sox. The Yankees were paced by captain Derek Jeter and his .357 avg in the month of July as well as Phil Hughes (0.61 ERA and 16 K’s in 14.1 IP) who has become a force in the eighth inning.

While the Yankees were surging…

8. The Boston Red Sox were scuffling. The Red Sox went into the All Star break three games up on the Yankees and in about two weeks they were 3.5 games back.

A lack of offense was the main culprit for the Red Sox. They hit .248 as a team and Jason Bay decided to take the month off. Bay hit just .194 with one HR in the month of July.

If the Red Sox make the World Series, Game One will be at Fenway Park because…

7. The American League wins the All-Star Game. Thanks to an amazing catch by Carl Crawford that robbed the Rockies’ Brad Hawpe of a home run – the American League won the All-Star Game 4-3.

This was the 13th consecutive win for the AL and the winner of the AL Pennant will have home-field advantage in the World Series.

It was a great night in St. Louis. I think we’ll stay in St. Louis…

6. The Cardinals land Matt Holliday. The Cardinals weren’t just happy acquiring Mark DeRosa, so they went out and got the best bat on the trade market in Matt Holliday.

The Cardinals gave up top prospect Brett Wallace in order to get Holliday, but the Cardinals feel Holliday can put them over the top. The Red Birds have put themselves in great position to not only win the NL Wild Card, but the NL Central as well.

Speaking of the Wild Card…

5. The NL Wild Card race is intense. On July 31st, seven teams were separated by a grand total of seven games for the NL Wild Card.

The St Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, Florida Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, and Milwaukee Brewers all have a realistic chance at the Wild Card.

If you want me to predict a winner? I am going to say the Giants are the last team standing. I just like their pitching as a whole and I think they will find enough offense in the end.

If the Giants win the Wild Card, they might have to play the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS because…

4. The Phillies get their ace. The Phillies wanted Roy Halladay, but when the asking price was too high they settled for a pretty darn good pitcher in Cliff Lee.

To get Lee from the Cleveland Indians without giving up top prospects Kyle Drabek or Dominic Brown was one heck of a move by Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. With the addition of Lee, the Phillies might be the favorite to once again win the NL Pennant.

Cliff Lee and Matt Holliday weren’t the only players traded in July…

3. The July 31st trading deadline ended with a frenzy. Roy Halladay was the biggest name on the trade market, but he didn’t go anywhere – he is staying in Toronto. However, there were a lot of other players who are calling new cities home.

Freddy Sanchez, Jake Peavy, Victor Martinez, George Sherrill, Jack Wilson, Scott Rolen, and Jarrod Washburn all were moved close to or at the trading deadline.

One player who won’t be traded anytime soon…

Beckham had a monster July

Beckham had a monster July

2. Gordon Beckham is really good. The Chicago White Sox have found a stud in Gordon Beckham. After a really slow start, Beckham has really turned it on as of late.

Beckham won the AL Rookie of the Month award for July when he hit .330 with three HR, 18 RBI, 12 runs scored, and a .526 slugging percentage in 27 games.

Staying on the south side of Chicago and the number one thing we learned from baseball in July was…

1. For one day in his life Mark Buehrle was perfect. Buehrle already threw a no-hitter in his career, but on July 23rd, Buehrle decided to one better. Against the Tampa Bay Rays Mark Buehrle tossed the 18th perfect game in major league baseball history.

Buehrle was spectacular that day retiring all 27 batters he faced while throwing just 116 pitches in the winning effort.

Buehrle didn’t stop there however. In his next start against the Minnesota Twins, Buehrle was perfect again for 5.2 innings. He also set a major-league record that game by retiring 45 straight batters.

Just an amazing two start stretch for one of the more underrated pitchers in the game.

That’s a wrap for July. What will August bring us? Stay tuned to find out!!!

The New York Mets’ Tony Bernazard Needs To Be Fired…

July 22, 2009

I am going to keep this short and sweet. The New York Mets’ VP for Player Development Tony Bernazard needs to be fired. This guy has become an embarrassment for the New York Mets.

According to the New York Daily News, Tony Bernazard ripped off his shirt and challenged players on the Double-A Binghamton Mets to a fight during a postgame meeting. The tirade centered around the Binghamton Mets being 36-58 and underage drinking on the team.

Can the Wilpons or Omar Minaya wake up and just get rid of this guy already? I don’t care if the Binghamton Mets’ record was 2-62 and the whole team got DUI’s last month – there are 1,000 better ways to go about this than challenging players to a fight.

This is the same guy who threw Willy Randolph under the bus and was instrumental in getting pitching coach Rick Peterson fired. This is the guy who went into a profanity laced tirade in front of other scouts and fans recently because a scout from the Arizona Diamondbacks was sitting in his seat during a game. And this is also the guy who is in charge of the Mets’ minor-league system, and their Double-A and Triple-A teams have a combined record of 70-115.

Why this loser still has a job is beyond me. Can anyone name one positive thing this guy has brought the Mets’ organization? Because I sure as heck can’t.

It’s one thing for a team to struggle on the field. It happens to every organization in every league. But when a team becomes an embarrassment off the field – that is when things become unacceptable to me.

The Mets need to do the right thing and get rid of this embarrassment.

New York Mets Reject Halladay Trade; Lack Vision…

July 21, 2009

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman via Twitter, the New York Mets rejected a trade that would send Fernando Martinez, Bobby Parnell, Jonathan Niese, and Ruben Tejada to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. If I was Mets’ GM Omar Minaya, I would seriously reconsider this.

If the Mets’ management had any vision, they would realize this trade would not only set them up for 2010, but would also pay dividends in 2009.

Because of an unprecidented amount of injuries, the 2009 season for the Mets is all but over. It’s almost comical as to what has happened to the Mets this year. At this point the Mets have replacements for the replacements on their roster.

With the way things are going, do you think anyone is going to show up to Citi Field to watch this team play in September? Am I going to spend $40 on a ticket, $20 for parking, and $10 for a beer to watch Jeremy Reed, Alex Cora, and Angel Pagan? Nope.

But guess what? I will spend $40 to watch Roy Halladay pitch. No matter what the Mets’ record is in September, Halladay will put people in the seats. Considering the Wilpons lost a reported $700 million in the Madoff scandal (how they claim this won’t affect the Mets is beyond me), this should be music to their ears.

There are very few pitchers in the game today who can make fans say “I would pay to watch him pitch.” Halladay is one of them. Johan Santana (also on the Mets), Tim Lincecum, and Felix Hernandez (because of his electric stuff) would be the others.

While Halladay would pay off financially in 2009, acquiring Halladay would set the Mets up for a World Series run in 2010.

After the end of the 2009 season, the following players come off of the Mets’ payroll:

Carlos Delgado – $16 million

Billy Wagner – $10.5 million

JJ Putz – $8.6 million club option. That won’t be picked up

Brian Schneider – $4.9 million

Tim Redding – $2.5 million

That is $42.1 million coming off the books. Hallday is slated to make $15.75 million in 2010, so he essentially replaces Delgado on the payroll. That would leave the Mets roughly $26 million to spend on a leftfielder, a catcher, some bench help, and a couple of relief pitchers. That should be more than doable in today’s economic climate. Let’s not forget that Bobby Abreu and Orlando Hudson were signed for roughly $9 million combined this past offseason.

The Mets would have a 2010 rotation of Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and Oliver Perez. In that extreme pitchers ballpark and moving to the NL, Halladay should have no problem winning 20-25 games in 2010. Put him and Santana together in that ball park – forget about it. The Mets could win a World Series with that one-two punch and overall rotation.

Also remember, not only is Halladay a great pitcher, but he is a great teacher. He taught AJ Burnett how to pitch, why can’t he do the same with Pelrey or Maine? I didn’t list Perez because I don’t think anyone can help him.

Now for those of you who don’t believe that you can trade four prospects under the age of 24 for just a year and a half of Halladay, I can see your point. However, only Fernando Martinez ranks in the top 100 prospects in baseball and the Mets’ farm system isn’t the greatest in the world. It’s ranked in the bottom half in baseball by most experts. If anyone wants the Mets’ prospects the Mets should be thankful.

Fernandez might be a top prospect and is still only 20 years old. But when a player doesn’t run out a ball in his very first major league game – it raises a serious red flag with me.

As for the other three. Parnell has a great arm and would probably be the closer of the future for the Blue Jays, but is just a set-up guy on the Mets. Tejada is not even a top 10 prospect and only hit .229 in 131 games for Advanced Single -A St Lucie in 2008. And Jonathan Niese has struggled in two stints at the major league level. In 24.2 IP in 2008 and 2009, Niese sported a 6.57 ERA.

Even if the Mets gave up all four of those prospects they would still have SS Wilmer Flores, RHP Brad Holt, 3B Jefry Marte, and RHP Eddie Kunz in their farm system. They all rank in the top 10 in the Mets’ farm system according to BaseballAmerica.com

Omar Minaya should get back on the phone, call back JP Ricciardi, and make this deal. If the Mets had any vision, this deal would have already been done.

Assessing The Ryan Church For Jeff Francoeur Trade…

July 11, 2009

In a rare occurrence in baseball, two division rivals got together and made a trade. The New York Mets traded OF Ryan Church to the Atlanta Braves for OF Jeff Francoeur. At first glance, this seems like a classic “change of scenery” trade.

The Braves get a guy in Church, who never seemed to fit in with the Mets and it seemed like the Mets were never too fond of him. The way the Mets handled Church’s injuries last year was a joke and Jerry Manuel rather would have started anyone in the OF over Church.

That being said, the Braves are getting a guy who I think can hit .275 with 15-20 HR’s and 70-80 RBI. The Braves need as much offense as they can get, and at this point I think Church is a better offensive player than Jeff Francoeur.

The Mets get a guy in Francouer, who really needed to get out of Atlanta. This had to be a hard trade for Braves GM Frank Wren to make. Francoeur was born in Atlanta, drafted by the Braves, and was supposed to be the new face of the franchise.

Francoeur needed a change of scenery

Francoeur needed a change of scenery

Francouer was well on his way to becoming that franchise player when he hit a combined .276 with 48 HR’s and 208 RBI in 2007 and 2008. However, in 2008 things changed for Francoeur. He hit only .239 with 11 HR, 71 RBI, and a pathetic .294 OBP.

The Mets apparently made this trade for three reasons:

  1. The Mets are hoping that Francouer will turn things around and he just needed a change of scenery. At the age of 25, there is still plenty of time for Francoeur to figure things out.
  2. In the very spacious Citi Field, the Mets needed to start building their team around defense. Mets GM Omar Minaya says of Francoeur “some consider to be the best defensive right-fielder in baseball, and a guy who has a very good arm.”
  3. Francoeur has a clean bill of health. Here is a classic comment from Minaya – “One thing we like about Francoeur is the amount of games he plays.”

A couple of things in regards to Minaya’s comments. I have never heard a GM say he traded for a guy because of the amount of games he plays. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I am guessing 90 percent of the regular OF’s in the majors play in a good amount of games.

Minaya also mentioned something about Francoeur’s defense. Here is something to chew on – Church has actually been a better defensive player than Francoeur the last two years. They both have around a .993 Fielding Percentage the last two years, but Church’s UZR has been 3.9 and 2.8, while Francoeur’s has been -4.7 and 0.6.

Advantage – Church.

At the end of the day, in my opinion, the Braves got better of this deal. The Mets never, ever gave Church a chance and despite being younger, I am not sure if Francoeur can turn it around under a microscope in New York.

Possible Replacements For Delgado Update…

May 20, 2009

I wanted to give an update on my “Possible replacements for Delgado” post. Mets’ first baseman, Carlos Delgado was placed on the 15 Day DL and had hip surgery on Tuesday. Mets’ GM, Omar Minaya expects Delgado to be out about 10 weeks.

It appears the Mets will go with 2 of the internal options that I had on my list of replacements: Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy. The Mets keep asking a lot of Murphy. In the last year and a half, the Mets have asked Murphy to learn how to play LF, 2B and 1B. That is a lot to ask of a young player who is trying to get accustomed to the major leagues.

In terms of trades, here is what Minaya had to say…

“I’m never going to stop looking around,” Minaya said. “We’re always involved in talking to clubs.”

A name that has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate that I didn’t think of is New Jersey product, Mark DeRosa. DeRosa would be a perfect fit for the Mets. He can play LF, 1B, 2B, RF and 3B just in case they want to give Wright a break down the stretch.

One last update from this post. In the post, I asked the question “Seriously, what is going on with all the hip injuries lately? Utley, Arod, Lowell, Gordon, etc…Has someone looked into this? It’s crazy”

One of my readers John from Omaha, NE has offered his opinion on why there are so many hip injuries lately. Pretty interesting….

I have a theory on the rash of baseball hip injuries. Steroids.

My wife has asthma. She has had frequent hospital stays and has been treated with steroids for over 7 years. She developed pain in her hip, and was diagnoised with avascular necrosis I cut and paste from Wiki the symptons and cause. To me, this growing phenomena of baseball players developing hip injuries is going from a coincidence to a trend.

Avascular necrosis (also osteonecrosis, aseptic (bone) necrosis, ischemic bone necrosis[1], and AVN) is a disease resulting from the temporary or permanent loss of the blood supply to an area of bone.[1] Without blood, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses.[1]If avascular necrosis involves the bones of a joint, it often leads to destruction of the joint articular surfaces (see Osteochondritis dissecans).

Causes

There are many theories about what causes avascular necrosis. Proposed risk factors include alcoholism[2], excessive steroid use,[3][4][5] caisson disease (decompression sickness),[6][7] vascular compression,[8] hypertension, vasculitis, thrombosis, damage from radiation, bisphosphonates (particularly the mandible),[9] sickle cell anaemia,[10] and Gaucher’s Disease.[11] In some cases it is idiopathic (no cause is found).[12]Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also common causes of AVN. Prolonged, repeated exposure to high pressures (as experienced by commercial and military divers) has been linked to AVN, though the relationship is not well-understood. post trauma,”

Good work John!!! As always, we here at The Ghost of Moonlight Graham value people’s opinions. What does everyone else think? Opinions and thoughts are welcome.