I feel sorry for Omar Minaya. He is in an impossible position this offseason. He has to fill holes in the lineup at catcher, left field and first base. He must upgrade the rotation and add some depth to the bullpen and the lineup. And he must do this without increasing payroll. If he doesn't have a magical offseason he will undoubtedly be spending his nights having to explain to Orestes Destrade and John Kruk why defense matters on ESPN.
And as a Met fan, his predicament scares me.
Because Minaya is left with one road to succeed this year. Mortgage the future. In a bid to save his job, Minaya will have little choice but to send every prospect the Mets have to other teams for players who simply aren't worth the price.
Potential deals could be:
Luis Castillo, Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Meijja for Kevin Millwood
Ike Davis for Michael Cuddyer
Daniel Murphy and Bobby Parnell for Ryan Doumit
The above deals significantly upgrade the Mets at 1B, SP and C. Certainly the Mets would be better in 2010 by making these deals.
But giving up top prospects for middle of the road starters (like Millwood), or slightly above average position players is a surefire way to ensure years of losing in the future.
Up until now, Minaya has shown remarkable restraint and farsightedness. He has tried to hold onto prospects when at all possible, and the Mets should begin to see big dividends from that approach in 2011. But Omar may abandon that approach this offseason to save his job and give the team one shot at winning. He's got to be desparate and looking for any deal that will help him NOW. Remember, he did that once before. He was the GM of the Expos when he traded Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore for Bartolo Colon, probably the worst deal of the last 20 years.
And the Met prospects just aren't good ENOUGH to put the team over the top. I think most Met fans would trade a World Championship for three subsequent years of losing. But would those fans trade a 90 win season for those same losing seasons?
This one won't.