Manny Revisited

Yesterday on WFAN Omar Minaya was interviewed by Mike Francesa on the “Mike and No More Mad Dog Show”.

Francesa asked Minaya if he went after Manny Ramirez, knowing full well that Omar is a big fan of the big bopper. Minaya’s first response was that Theo Epstein needed a replacement for Manny’s bat, and Omar didn’t have .

“Right but they used a third team in the mix. Couldn’t you have used a third team in the mix?”
” … when it was all said and done, it was going to cost me three prospects, and for all we know it could have been the kids playing there right now … and it was gonna be a rental. And I just cannot, coming off the trade for Santana … for me to give up three good prospects for a rental, I just couldn’t do that.”

Interesting admission. It’s easy to say now that the Mets shouldn’t have given up Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, and, say, Jonathan Niese in a deal for Manny, looking at how well Evans and Murphy are playing lately. Or is it?

Seriously now, do we really believe the Murphy and Evans platoon is a difference maker in the pennant race, in the way Manny Ramirez is a difference-maker? Will Jon Niese be the next Sandy Koufax?

Ramirez is currently hitting .406 with 21 RBI in 19 games with the Dodgers, with a 1.024 OPS. Murphy is actually doing nearly as well, hitting .404 with 11 RBI and a 1.108 OPS in 18 games. Add Evans’ 5 RBI and .695 OPS and you could argue that the two kids are keeping pace with Manny.

However, when the playoffs begin, who do you want at the plate with runners on base in a tight ballgame? Murphy, Evans, or Ramirez?

Remember too, that if the Mets were unable to re-sign Manny in the winter, they would receive two compensatory #1 draft picks to help rebuild their farm system.

Personally, I’m torn, but only because I’m seeing what Murphy has done. Back on July 31st, I wouldn’t have hesitated — even if the deal had to include F-Mart.

Your thoughts?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude August 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm
    Joe, I understand your hang-up over losing out on the Manny trade sweepstakes. He’s easily a top-10 hitter in the game and a feared postseason performer. But look at it this way: as you say, Manny would have been no guarantee to stick around after ’08. Likewise, Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez are free agents this winter and who knows where they wind up. Add to the mix that the short-term futures of Ryan Church and John Maine are very much up in the air, and you can see why Omar is being so picky in giving up prospects for “rental” players. Yes, Manny would have at least brought back 2 draft picks, but that does diddly squat to help the Mets in 2009 – when they embark on their first season at a new stadium. So if acquiring Manny would have (hypothetically) cost FMart, Neise, and Murphy, suddenly the team no longer has their insurance policies if Manny and Perez were to leave, and if Church’s concussion woes were to require additional, more lengthy time off. And then you’re looking at a rotation in 2009 of Santana and Pelfrey with 3 newcomers, and an OF with Beltran and who knows what flanking him on either side. But, by passing on Manny, not only do the Mets still retain a competitive team in 2008, but also plenty of room to operate in 2009 in case free agency and injury take their toll.

    If Maine didn’t have any issues with his arm, and if it was assured that Perez would re-sign, and if Church were 100% healthy and functional, I’d be much more inclined to agree with you that the trigger should have been pulled on acquiring Manny. But as things currently stand, I truly think it made the most sense to stand pat. It might cost us a WS visit this year, but it at least ensures a better chance to compete in 2009 and onwards.

  2. joe August 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm
    It’s not really a hang-up with me, as I’m enjoying the Evans-Murphy platoon and will be excited to see what Niese (or Parnell) can do.

    But I would have never believed on July 31 that Evans and Murphy would have matched Manny’s output to this point.

    The thing that bugged me about Omar’s comments — which you can hear on — is that he revealed the approach to building the Mets. He admitted that after 2004, they “traded away the kids for veterans” in order to “get the fans back” … and now, “we’re going to draw four million fans or more, the ratings are up … so now it’s about winning not only with the veterans but also the kids”.

    So in other words, the Mets traded away their future in ’05, ’06, and ’07 in order to “win now” and sell tickets, but now that they’re selling tickets like crazy and opening a new stadium, the need to get to the postseason is not as urgent as it was two years ago. Or at least, that’s what I get out of it.

    I may have to think about this over the weekend and re-post … not sure I’m stating my frustration correctly.