Confirmed: Maine was a Throw-in
This morning on XM 175 MLB Home Plate, former Mets and Orioles GM Jim Duquette confirmed that John Maine was a throw-in when the Mets sent Kris Benson to Baltimore for Jorge Julio.
This may not be huge news, and many of you may have suspected as much, but at least a few people (including myself) have lauded Omar Minaya for his ability to spot a golden nugget in Maine in his fleecing of the Orioles.
However, Duquette described the trade this morning quite differently. He said that when he first took the job at Baltimore, members of the Orioles organization saw Maine as a #5 starter, or a “swing man” (someone who would likely be a long man out of the bullpen and spot starter). According to Duquette, the Orioles felt supported in this analysis when the Indians refused to take Maine in a proposed trade. As a result, the O’s had been looking to trade Maine quickly, while he still might have value to another MLB club.
When Duquette and Minaya began talks, Minaya was desperate to unload Benson mostly as a salary dump (the team needed to clear payroll after acquiring Carlos Delgado and Billy Wagner) and partially because of Anna Benson’s outfit at the annual Christmas party. According to Duquette, Minaya liked Jorge Julio’s power arm, and asked for Adam Loewen as well — who at the time was the #2 prospect in the organization. Duquette obviously rejected that request, and Minaya said he “needed a throw-in” to complete the deal. Since the Orioles had been trying to trade Maine earlier, Duquette suggested him as the “throw in”, and the rest is history.
Now, this could be Duquette’s way of covering his arse — after all, he was also the person publicly responsible for the trade of Scott Kazmir to the Devil Rays. But, the story does make sense when you look back on it.
In another interesting tidbit, Duquette said that the Mets used to give their old uniforms to the Hyannis Mets, which is a Cape Cod League team, to help Hyannis defray some of their costs. As a thank-you, Hyannis would send a dozen lobsters down to Flushing.
Isn’t that an ironic twist, considering that MLB recently put the hammer down on amateur organizations using MLB logos and team names, and specifically went after the Cape Cod League?
So one must wonder if the Mets will still “sell” their old uniforms for the market price of New England lobsters, or if Hyannis will be forced to buy the unis from a licensed vendor?