Analyzing Mets GM Omar Minaya's Strategy to Building a Winning Ball Club

Phil HoopsCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2009

The Mets and Yankees may both call New York their home. They may both have their own regional sports network. They may even both have a large fanbase.

However, the ways in which these clubs construct themselves are completely different.

From their inception, the New York Yankees have relied solely on their abundance of funds to buy virtually any player they’ve wanted.

The Mets, on the other hand, construct their team differently. Despite the fact that they are a big market team, they do not spend nearly the amount of money that the Yankees do.

That became evident when they let big name free agents such as Derek Lowe slip past them due to the fact that they commanded too much money.

Still, the team has made some exceptions to this rule when it comes to spending money. For instance, prior to the 2008 season the team acquired and then proceeded to sign ace Johan Santana to a record-setting $137,793,376 contract.

This move proved to be beneficial to the club, as Santana put up stellar numbers (2.53 ERA and 206 Ks).

However, Minaya has made some questionable signings too, like the four-year, $25 million contract given to second baseman Luis Castillo, which proved to be disastrous.

For the most part though, Omar’s strategy has proved to be successful, and the team has been in contention for the past three seasons. Surprisingly, though, the team has lacked that one little spark to make it all the way and win a World Championship.

What’s even more shocking is that both New York teams missed the playoffs last year. How could two teams whose payrolls combined were more than $300 million miss the postseason? The answer is simple: Money cannot buy you a championship.

Look at the World Series victors, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies' payroll was only $98 million, which was the 13th-highest in all of baseball, and about one-third less than the Mets. Rather than spend money on anything, the Phillies did their homework and signed low cost players to fill their needs.

Players such as Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson all helped solidify what turned out to be the best bullpen in all of baseball last year.

In order to improve their clubs, Omar Minaya needs to focus on lower cost alternatives, rather than sign superstars like Manny Ramirez and Orlando Hudson.

Minaya has to an extent already began doing this by signing players who have yet to make a name for themselves, such as Casey Fossum and Cory Sullivan, in hopes that they will blossom into successful major leaguers.

If Omar continues this strategy, he may find himself the architect of the next World Series team.