"Ownership is not happy with the direction of the team,'' chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said before the game against Colorado.
That kind of statement from the team owner would have most GMs in baseball polishing their resume and deleting the porn off their office computer. But Mets GM Omar Minaya may have more job security than most GMs in his spot, considering he hasn't even begun a three-year contract extension he signed last winter.
The New York media is calling for Minaya's head as the team is in the midst of a disappointing season and after Minaya botched his second firing in as many years (remember the late night Willie Randolph debacle?).
But should Minaya be fired? Or should he just focus on his job running the team and leave the press conferences to PR man Jay Horowitz?
I looked at Omar's run since joining the Mets as GM on September 30, 2004. I graded each move as a win, a loss, or even. Here are the results:
1.) Deal RP Mike Stantan to the Yankees for RP Felix Heredia. Stanton was horrible, Heredia got hurt. Result: Even
2.) Signed free agent SP Pedro Martinez. The Mets overpaid, and Pedro broke down after only one good year for the Mets. Result: Loss
3.) Signed free agent OF Carlos Beltran. Beltran is one of the most complete players in the game. Well worth $18 million a year. Result: Win
4.) Omar's first draft for the Mets was big win, despite not having a second or third round pick. He chose SP Mike Pelfrey in the first round, then snagged SP Jon Niese in the seventh round, and RP Bobby Parnell in ninth round. He also stole catching prospect Josh Thole in the 13th round. Result: Big Win
5.) Traded OF Mike Cameron to the Padres for OF Xavier Nady. Cameron wasn't happy having to play RF in New York, and the Mets got younger. Result: Win
6.) Traded 1B Mike Jacobs and minor league SP Yusmerio Petit to Florida for Carlos Delgado. Result: A Big Win - Jacobs is a borderline major leaguer, and Petit won one game for Florida.
7.) Signed free agent RP Billy Wagner. This one could go either way, but signing a 34- year-old pitcher to a four-year deal just isn't smart, and Wagner did what you would expect - he got hurt halfway through the deal. The $10 million the Mets have wasted on Wagner this season could have been well used. Result: Loss
8.) Traded SP Gaby Hernandez to Florida for C Paul LoDuca. LoDuca did a good job for the Mets, and Hernandez has yet to smell the big leagues. Result: Win
9.) Signed 1B Julio Franco to a two-year deal. What a surprise - signing a 47-year-old player to a multi-year deal didn't work out. Result - Loss
10.) Signed free agents Chad Bradford and Endy Chavez. These signings really had a lot to do with the Mets making the playoffs in '06. Bradford was amazing in the pen down the stretch in '06, and Chavez seemed to always be in the middle of late inning heroics off the bench. The Catch. That's all I have to say. Result - Win
11.) Traded Jae Seo to the Dodgers for Duanar Sanchez. A smart move by Minaya selling high on Seo. Seo was 8-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 2005, but anyone watching knew that was a mirage. Minaya turned Seo into a solid reliever in Sanchez, who was one of the best relievers in baseball the first half of 2006 before he got hurt. Result: Win
12.) Traded SP Kris Benson to the Orioles for SP John Maine and RP Jorge Julio. A smart, long-term move. Benson and his hot wife just didn't fit in New York, and Maine has been productive in his time with the Mets. The Orioles paid $15 million for Benson's 11 wins for them. Result: Win
13.) Mets traded RP Jorge Julio to the DBacks for SP Orlando Hernandez. To get something worthwhile for Julio is automatically a win. Result: Win
14.) The 2006 draft was not so successful as the first one for Minaya. With no first round pick, Kevin Mulvey was the Mets first pick in round two. He was a part of the Johan Santana deal, so he was solid, but the rest of the draft has produced nothing with the exception of MR Joe Smith (since dealt in the JJ Putz deal), and the big question mark 1B Daniel Murphy. Result: Loss (but could change if Murphy pans out)
15.) Traded 2B Kaz Matsui to the Rockies for UTIL Eli Marrero. Matsui was run out of town, but I was never sure why. He never lived up to the hype, but he was still a solid 2B. He hit .345 for the Rockies in 2006, while Marrero was released in August. Result: Loss
16.) Traded OF Xavier Nady to the Pirates for RP Roberto Hernadez and SP Oliver Perez. After Sanchez went down, Omar had hours before the trade deadline to fill his hole in the pen. He did pretty well for himself, getting a solid RP and Ollie as a throw-in who ended up throwing huge innings in the playoffs. Result: Big Win
17.) Traded RP Heath Bell and RP Royce Ring to the Padres for RP Jon Adkins and OF Ben Johnson. This was a head scratcher from the beginning. Why trade a pitcher that throws 98 MPH? Bell is an All-Star closer for the Padres, and the Mets never got anything from their end of the deal. Result: Big Loss
18.) Signed free agent OF Moises Alou to a two-year deal. This rivals the Franco signing on the head Geritol scale. Omar signed the 40-year-old, brittle OF to a multi-year deal and then was presumably surprised when he managed only 87 games the first year, and 15 the second year. Result: Loss
19.) Traded RP Henry Owens and RP Matt Lindstrom to the Marlins for SP Jason Vargas and RP Adam Bostick. Can you imagine if the Mets paired Bell and Lindstrom in their bullpen now? Scary. Result: Definite Loss
20.) Signed free agent RP Scott Schoenweis to a three-year deal. Schoenweis did exactly what you could expect from him during his time with the Mets - got lefties out and got ripped by righties. The problem is that Omar gave him so much money, there were heightened, and unreasonable expectations. Omar eventually had to pay Arizona to take Schoenweiss. Result: Loss
21.) The 2007 draft does not look good so far. Eddie Kunz has not developed as hoped, Nathan Nineyard has already washed out, and the only hope seems to be in 1B Lucas Duda, who is probably fifth on the organizational depth chart at the position. Result: Loss
22.) Traded Drew Butera to the Twins for 2B Luis Castillo. Got a starter for nothing. Good deal. Result: Win
23.) Traded OF Lastings Milledge to the Nationals for C Brian Schnieder and OF Ryan Church. This deal was criticized when it was originally made, but the Mets got two part-time starters for a guy who hasn't contributed anything but heartburn to his managers. Result: Win
24.) Traded minor leaguers Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Geurrera, and Phillip Humber and OF Carlos Gomez to the Twins for SP Johan Santana. No debate needed here. You can argue about the contract the Mets gave Johan, but the trade was big win. Only Gomez has stuck so far in the majors, and he is nothing special so far. Result: Win
25.) Traded SS Anderson Hernandez to the Nationals for RP Luis Ayala. The Mets were so desperate for relief help, they dealt a useful defensive minded infielder for a reliever with a 5.77 ERA (and then made him their closer!). It says something that the Mets actually considered Ayala an upgrade. And Hernandez could have been an invaluable player this season when Jose Reyes went down. Result: Loss
So what's the totals?
Wins - 13
Loss - 11
Even - 1
I stopped at the end of the 2008 season, because it really is too early to tell on the moves made since then.
But his track record is very interesting in one manner- the great majority of his bad decisions happened during the offseason after the 2006 season. He had four loser decisions, and then followed that up with a bad draft in June.
Before and since he has done a remarkable job.
If I were Jeff Wilpon, Omar would continue to be my man running the Mets. I just wouldn't let him fire anyone.