Omar’s infamous moves ….

This time next week, Mets GM Omar Minaya will be in Indianapolis, working the room to make a deal. The flip side is also true, agents and GMs trying to work Minaya.

And, several have been successful in doing so.

Minaya has had an interesting tenure with the Mets, making some good and bad decisions. I’m interested in your opinion of the worst Minaya deals.

Here are some of the nominations:

MINAYA: What's this year's bombshell announcement?

MINAYA: What's this year's bombshell announcement?


OLIVER PEREZ: Re-signing lefty Oliver Perez last winter to a three-year, $36-million contract could go down as one of the worst deals in Mets history.

LUIS CASTILLO: Re-signing second baseman Luis Castillo to a four-year, $24-million deal after the 2007 season. Castillo redeemed his miserable 2008 season with a good year in 2009, but signing him meant the Mets couldn’t go after Orlando Hudson or any other viable second baseman. Two more years.

MOISES ALOU: After playing in just 87 games in 2007, the Mets picked up outfielder Moises Alou’s $7.5 million option. Injuries to the 41-year-old Alou limited him to 15 games the following season. Of course, it wasn’t a great idea to have the option in there in the first place.

SCOTT SCHOENEWEIS: After being a stalwart in the 2006 bullpen, Chad Bradford sought a three-year contract. OK, maybe Bradford wouldn’t have panned out, but lefty Scott Schoeneweis getting a three-year, $10.8-million deal wasn’t the answer, either.

DARREN OLIVER: The Mets reached the playoffs in 2006 in large part to their bullpen, and lefty long-man Darren Oliver played a substantial role. Oliver signed with the Angels for $1.75 million, paltry by today’s standards.

GUILLERMO MOTA: Unbelievably, reliever Guillermo Mota got a two-year, $5-million deal following the 2006 season AFTER testing positive for steroids.

BRIAN BANNISTER: Perhaps Brian Bannister wouldn’t have been more than a fifth starter for the Mets, but dealing him for Ambiorix Burgos after the 2006 season was horrid. Burgos gave nothing to the Mets, and then killed two women in a hit-and-run accident. This after beating up his girlfriend. Bannister might have prevented the parade of fifth-starter options that included Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding and a cast of thousands.

ORLANDO HERNANDEZ: The Ancient One got a two-year deal after the 2006 season. Oh yeah, he was hurt for the 2006 playoffs?

BAD BULLPEN DEALS: Within a span of a week after the 2006 season, the Mets sent relievers Heath Bell and Royce Ring to San Diego for outfielder Ben Johnson and pitcher Jon Adkins. Five days later, Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens were sent to Florida for Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick.

XAVIER NADY: After Duaner Sanchez’s auto accident injury in July 2006, Minaya acted quickly and sent outfielder Xavier Nady to Pittsburgh for reliever Robert Hernandez and Perez. To be fair, Perez did win 15 games for the Mets one season, but it wasn’t comfortable and he’s been awful since.

JULIO FRANCO: Unbelievably, somebody older than El Duque got a two-year, $2.2 million contract in the winter of 2005. Franco was semi-productive after his first year, but there is no way he should have gotten two.

I’m sure I might have missed some, but you guys are good at filling in the blanks. But, which one just still makes you shake your head?

18 thoughts on “Omar’s infamous moves ….

  1. Thanks for the memories John. I had forgotten about some of these jokers.

    I think one of our big signings this offseason will be for a 50 year old catcher who hits 211 with 20 hrs. We will pay this person more than 5 million. this will also be for a 3 year contract.

    that will be the big splash for the season.

    We will start Angel in LF.

    I predict that Ollie will earn 10 million of his 36 million dollar contract.

  2. Didn’t he also pull back Gary Sheffield from waivers when the Giants claimed him in August? Not that the Mets would have gotten Linecum in return but why keep Sheffield?

  3. Omar’s major mistakes…where do we begin?
    How about after the ’06 season?
    Here’s a Top 10 list…
    1. Letting pitchers Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver walk away after ’06.
    2. Trading away young starter Brian Bannister for erratic — and ultimately, sociopathic — reliever Ambiorix Burgos.
    3. Re-signing admitted ’06 steroid cheat Guillermo Mota — much less to a two-year contract.
    4. Holding on to Lastings Milledge for far too long so that in the end he netted only Ryan Church and Brian Schneider. (Only saving grace there is that Minaya upgraded RF by trading Church for Jeff Francouer.)
    5. Signing journeyman reliever Scott Schoeneweis to a three-year, $10.8M deal.
    6. Not finding a young, athletic power-hitting LF via trade or free agency to fill in for Cliff Floyd after letting him walk. A combo of a brittle and aging Moises Alou, a scrub in Ricky Ledee and an inexperienced Carlos Gomez didn’t pass muster.
    7. Not letting Shawn Green walk away after ’06 and instead finding a young, power-hitting and adequate defender for RF via trade or free agency who could’ve competed with Lastings Milledge for the position.
    8. Re-signing Luis Castillo to a four-year deal at an astronomical price. Two years would’ve been generous and we wouldn’t be stuck with him now for an additional two seasons.
    9. Merely entertaining the thought that Luis Ayala — who couldn’t even succeed on a horrid Nationals team — would be an adequate replacement for an injured Billy Wagner as closer in ’08.
    10. Merely having the idea that career-long castoff Tim Redding would actually help the Mets pitching rotation in ’09.

  4. Boy, thats a long list.The worst one for me, so Far has been the Ollie signing. Its by far the most expensive. Ollie has 2 years left to prove me wrong. That being said, I think Omars biggest failing has been not producing lots of young latin talent which he suggested was his plan after signing Pedro in 05. He has neglected the U.S. draft, giving away many picks for FA signings and then sticking to slot and not taking advantage of the Mets finacial advantages to snap up players that may have been too expensive for other teams. The mets spent the least amount of money of all the MLB teams on the draft last year. Thats unacceptable. Omars regime has still not provided one decent latin player yet.

  5. Darren O’Day disaster. Good move: draft him from Anaheim. Bad move: let him go on waivers on some ridiculous roster move for Nelson Figueroa to substitute for an injured Mike Pelfrey. O’Day did let all three inherited runners score in his brief appearance but that’s a small sample size.

  6. #4:

    1. I agree on Oliver, but more based on future results than my feeling at the time. Oliver seemed like lightning in a bottle and I wouldn’t have wanted to rely on him for the next year, of course I would have been wrong.

    2. I have zero bad feelings about the Bannister trade. It was a marginal player with marginal talent for an erratic player with lots of talent. That is a good risk move IMO.

    3. I agree about the 2 years, don’t agree about bringing back Mota, he was a big cog for us the year before and it is hard to predict what the PEDs did/didn’t do for him. One year with incentives though was the right move there not 2 years.

    4. Of course Lastings could have actually lived up to that potential and trading him earlier would have been a disaster. Do we try out our prospects or dump all of them, no fair to only complain about them after the fact. Overall I feel pretty good about Francour for Milledge in the end and I thought the idea of Church and Schneider at the time made sense, although Brian made that deal a mess I agree.

    5. No arguement there, The Show was a mistake and would be at near the top of my list.

    6. I find this one harder, I agree about the need, but young athletic power-hitting LF don’t grow on trees. I think overall our offense was pretty good in 07/08 and 09 I have a trouble arguing one way or another with the injuries.

    7. Agreed.

    8. I agree about the price and years, but signing him in general I was fine with. And lets not forget his year last year was pretty tolerable. Lets face it, this would have been the #1 issue after year 1 of this deal if he puts up another year like the last one this begins to be a marginal issue.

    9. Come on, that was after how many injuries and failures in the BP? It was a straw grab I will admit, but you only have so much to do, we had just traded for TBPIB and emptied our reserves, we didn’t have it to also go for a top of the line closer. Not much in the line of RP moved at that deadline anyway.

    10. Agreed, especially for the cost. He would have been fine on a minor league deal or something, but guaranteed money and all that mess. Bad deal

  7. My top 5 bad moves for Omar:

    1. Starting Pitcher for 2009. He should have negotiated harder with Ollie or walked from the table. 3 years 36 was a mistake. I agreed with Omar that it was better than the 4 60 for Lowe that he balked at, but he should have realized that the step down to the remaining players was worth it for Perez.

    2. Bell/Lindstrom deals. These were a pair of bad deals for an area that ended up very week for the Mets for the next couple years. Lindstrom I think gets a bit over-hyped, but he would have been a quality arm in the middle of the pen, and Mets brass top to bottom blew it with Bell. I put bell more under Peterson’s failures than Omar, but this was a big failure under Omar’s tenure.

    3. 3 year deal for The Terrible Show. This deal was just a joke, especially after rightly balking at the money Bradford wanted only to turn it over to a lesser player.

    4. 4 year deal for Castillo. I still see room for this deal to move down this list, but he simply overpaid in both years and money on this, no matter where Castillo ends up.

    5. No Bullpen fix for 08. I can somewhat excuse the 07 bullpen after key pieces fell apart from a strong pen in 06 and the pen just fell apart which will happen to pens from time to time. But for 08 he gets no excuse, he knew it was bad and simply did nothing to fix it.

  8. #5, I agree about the Latin players, not sure I can fault Omar on the drafting slot as that seems more of a Wilpon decision than Omar’s decision. I can’t imagine he is really sitting there thinking boy I sure hope I can spend less money to get less talent in here during the draft.

    I agree he is partially focusing on the Latin side of that equation, but Wilpon has been a bit cheap on that side too.

  9. Tears come to my eyes. Where oh where have all the Omar fans gone too? Just a year ago he was this genius, the guy who brought the Mets back from the hideous reign of Steve Phillips, Where are all the Omar defenders talking about how awesome Schneider was behind the plate and how Church is really an All Star mismanaged by the bozos in Montreal/DC? Where are al the Omar defenders thanking him for re-upping Alou after his short lived healthy sspree at the end of ’07? Where have they gone. Where are all the Omarapologists thaking him for getting the damaged Putz to set because afterall Omar knew more about medical problems than did the Seattle medical team? I used to feel so lonely, now the room is over crowded.

  10. How do we assess his hiring of Willie Randolph as manager? That was the first one he made and at the time he bragged he had the authority to rehire Art Howe if he wanted. Randolph did get them to an NLCS, a not very common thing in Mets history, but we know what happened once they got there and after. Randolph did fail a lot of auditions before he was hired: was that racism or did other teams know something? Who else was available: Bobby V, maybe Jim Leyland? It wasn’t Omar’s worst mistake but it isn’t a great hire. And he bungled the firing so badly that Bill Madden of the Daily News said it was worse than any of Steinbrenner’s 25 pink slips.

  11. PLEASE THANK OMAR TONITE: Omar did not panic and he did not try to outbid the Phillies for the horrible and rapidly deteriorating skills of Brian Schneider. The Phils signing Schneder to a 2 year deal is one of the best moves the Mets have made in a long time. Today, doing nothing was an excellent move.

  12. Harry, I will say I am still a pro-Omar guy. I think he gets a worse rap than he deserves. We bash him as fans like he is the worst GM of all time, but I think he is an above average GM and we could do worse.

    Omar still rates as one of the better GMs we have had, it may have more to say about the organization than Omar, but it is still true.

  13. 10. Come off your high horse Chiti. Your biggest complaint against Omar was trading Milledge. That doesnt look like such a bad Idea now. Maybe that is why you always slam Francouer. Right now that trade is Millege for Francour and I have no problem with that at all. I dont remember anybody calling Shnieder awesome or Church an All-Star, I also seem to recall that you were all for Bringing Perez back. Hindsight is always 20/20 and its alot easier to see the further back you are looking isnt it?

  14. 14. Sadecki do your homeweork before you blast me. The trade turned out to be Francoeur for Morgan, and Morgan is a better fielder, faster runner, better average hitter and better base runner abd better with taking pitches than Francoeur. The only area Francoer is better is with the HRs. And if you go back to the trade I said he (francoeur)was better than the formerly beloved Church. I’m just smart enough to not be drinking his Koolaide and know that when Bobby Cox dumps you there’s almost always a good reason. Three months hitting for a club that was forgotten by all the world is meaningless. I’d take Morgan over Francoer day and night. You all who say that line do know Milledge is not a Nat don’t you? And as for Schneider if Omar would have protected our only at the time catching prospect from the Rule 5 draft the Nats wouldn’t have a guy to replace Schneider, so one could even make the case that the trade was Morgan/Flores for Francoer. Either way, Omar loses.
    I was all for bringing back Perez. I was also totally against Lowe. So I break even with all who wanted Lowe so bad. You wanted Wolf. You get an A+ for that. Fortunately or not, we are not the GM, and the GM’s rating is based on hindsight. If Robbie Alomar stayed a star for 3/4 more years and big Mo could strill hit for a couple years, Steve Phillips might have hung around a lot longer. He won on foresight, He lost his job on hindsight.

  15. 13. James. He ain’t the worst GM the Mets ever had, and Willie Randolph wasn’t the worst manager. It doesn’t make either very good. Omar definitely has his strengths. He wants to go get stars and he generally succeeds. He fails to recognize the aging process in players which causes him to give contracts that are too long, and he fails to recognize the importance of a strong farm system. He laso has no repsect for the develoment process. He constantly rushes guys thru the system and the results have been dismal.

  16. 15, Chiti, I am trying to understand your logic. Mets traded Milledge to the Nats for Church and Schneider. A year and a half later The Mets traded Church for Francouer. Then later on the Nats traded Milledge for Morgan. Right? So It comes down to If the Mets didnt trade Milledge to the Nats in 07 they definitely would have traded him to the pirates in 09. I find your logic is flawed, Chiti. The point is Anybody, Even Church is better than Milledge at this point. He may never have a couple of months again like his start as a Met. Maybe its the concussion or he just played over his head. Either way I remember you really getting the fire Omar thing because of trading the promising young Milledge. Omar has made plenty of mistakes, but that was not one of them. You just came off too smug in that post Chiti. Maybe the praise Delcos gave you yesterday went to your head.

  17. Harry, I have three issues with the way Omar manages his roster:

    1. Doesn’t think enough about the smaller players on his team. He has gotten a lot out of small roster moves in the past, but it is like he just doesn’t value it properly or think about the cheaper and more replaceable parts that come out later.

    2. Does not always identify the biggest need and address it well enough. Starting Pitching last year and the pen the two before that. There are some caveats to those things, but it is still there.

    3. He tends to lock players up longer than he should. 4 years for Castillo is the big example, but even smaller things like 2 for Franco and Cora.

    One thing that I think Omar gets too much of a negative for is his need to overspend on the bench and marginal players on our team. We see a team like the Dodgers or KC, or St Louis getting a player cheaper and then we spend too much on a similar/worse player and get excited. I hate to say it, but I think the Mets HAVE to overpay other clubs to get players to come here in most situations. Except for the exception of a few players that really want to play here or are re-upping etc, the Mets are just not a very desirable team to play for.

    Playing for the Mets a player gets to deal with the following:

    1. High cost of living
    2. North East Weather
    3. Second team in the biggest city in the world.
    4. All the NY scrutiny that comes with playing in this town.
    5. A franchise known for drama and not known for winning.

    So if I have the same offer from St. Louis and their sea of die hard never say a bad word about your players fans and the Mets? I take the Cards, LA and their “who cares” fans and great weather? KC and start in mediocrity and none of the scrutiny than a bench player in NY?

    So when it comes to those secondary players we end up with having to shell out the extra coin to get them to come here. When the team is good and expected to win that tips a little more in our favor, but we don’t have the history of the Yankees or Red Sox, and we get all those negatives.

    So I try not to hold Omar too much on the fire for spending an extra half mil here and there on the marginal players as I think that is something that comes with the Mets.