Minaya Gets 3 More Years. Why?

Teflon GM Omar Minaya got a three year extension to his one remaining season under contract, plus two more years at the team’s option.

Why?

I understand going into the 2008/2009 offseason with a lame duck GM is not a good idea at all.  Who knows what kind of desperate moves he would have made?

But if the Wilpons wanted to bring back Minaya, why couldn’t they have given him a one year extention to his remaining year?

As John Harper points out in today’s Daily News, the Mets are not instilling confidence in the fanbase with this move.

You can’t argue the point that Omar Minaya played the Johan Santana hand like a savvy card player last winter, refusing to give up Jose Reyes early or Mike Pelfrey late, and eventually being rewarded for his patience.

But you also can’t argue that when all was said and done, Santana essentially fell in the Mets’ lap because neither the Yankees nor Red Sox would play ball with the Twins.

If not for that good fortune, Minaya may well have signed Livan Hernandez, the Mets may well have gone 80-82 this season and Jeff Wilpon would not have been on a conference call yesterday announcing a three-year contract extension through 2012 for his GM.

As it is, it seems fair to question the Mets’ generosity here, as well as their timing. They decided to give Minaya this extension more than a week ago, while their ballclub was fighting for a playoff spot.

What was the hurry? There is something to be said for front-office continuity, but considering the team wound up collapsing for a second straight season, what kind of message is ownership sending to the fans with that extension?

The message ownership is sending is that we value profits over rings.  Four million tickets sold and high ratings on TV are all that matters, even though it is possible to have both a good bottom line and success at the same time.

Numerous sources have reported that the Mets have had internal discussions that the payroll is not to go above this past season’s $143 million.  With only $26 million coming off the books, that doesn’t leave Minaya too much rope to do what he does best–write free agency checks.

No one will be able to convince me that Minaya has the ability to put together a team any better than what we’ve seen for the last few years.  Especially if Minaya is going to have to get creative on the trade market, where he has largely failed with both the Expos and the Mets.

Under Minaya, the Mets have put together a team that is good enough to compete but lacking what it takes to win on a larger scale.

Joel Sherman writes in today’s New York Post:

Armed with the Wilpons’ money, Minaya has been proven a wonderful big-game hunter. He likes stars and – to some extent – his passion for elite players has helped the Mets shuck their insecurity complex in pursuing the best, brightest and most expensive. That is not an unimportant matter when you share a city with the Yankees.

But while dining at the top of the food chain, Minaya too often has neglected the whole roster. So that when, for example, a pricey commodity such as Billy Wagner was hurt, the Mets were forced to bottom feed at a dire time. Hence Luis Ayala going from a last-place team’s doghouse to Mets closer in three easy lessons, or Ricardo Rincon jumping from Mexican League to important outs.

From 1-through-10, the Mets roster was star-studded. But it fell off the cliff not just from 11-to-25, but through the 40-man roster. It was stunning how many players the Mets ran off and on their 40-man roster late in the year, symbolic of a shallow talent pool. Part of the collapses the past two years is attributable to not having enough qualified arms and legs to endure the full battle.

Minaya has shown nothing as a GM that gives me any sort of confidence that he can successfully address the Mets’ current glaring needs.

Minaya is was he is and with him, the Mets are what they are.  It is baffling to me that he got rewarded for such incompetence.

Nice work, Wilpons.

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