The Mets have offered minor league contracts to Jose Valentin and Livan Hernandez this week, showing that even during economic turmoil, older players who bring veteran leadership to a team are given the chance to continue to play the game that they love and have the camaraderie of teammates who value their contributions.
If a player with a minor league contract makes the 25-man starting roster at the end of Spring Training, they can earn close to $1 million, with possible incentive clauses and have the potential to remain with the team in the event of injuries to their starters, and in the Mets case, if Luis Castillo cannot show that he can be their everyday second baseman, and with the WBC occurring this year, that is always a concern that all teams have going into this season.
Instead of offering substantial contracts to Manny Ramirez and Orlando Hudson as Free Agents, minor league contracts were offered by the Mets, who are hoping to put consecutive September collapses behind them, although 2008 was not as much of a collapse as 2007. Jerry Manuel will address the team about this and emphasize team over self this year, and with proven veteran leadership by these players who will hopefully earn their spot on the roster, 2009 will be an exciting season.
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