Does Omar Need to Make a Deal?

The Mets’ recent winning streak (all of four games) was enough to get the natives restless and insist that Omar Minaya make good on his promise that the Mets are “buyers” rather than sellers.

As the clock ticks down, one must wonder if indeed the Mets will “buy” before the deadline — and if they do, will it be for the right reasons?

This season is smelling a lot like 2004 — the last of the Art Howe years.

On July 31, 2004, the Mets were in fourth place (just ahead of the Expos) and 8 games behind the league-leading Braves. Jim Duquette was the lame-duck GM at the time, and desperate to save the season — as well as his job. The Wilpons kept stammering about “meaningful games in September”, and Duquette pulled the trigger on an array of moves in the final days before the trade deadline. I’ll refresh your memory:

Acquired RHP Kris Benson and IF Jeff Keppinger from Pittsburgh in exchange for 3B Ty Wigginton, IF Jose Bautista and RHP Matt Peterson.

Acquired RHP Victor Zambrano and RHP Bartolome Fortunato from Tampa Bay in exchange for LHP Scott Kazmir and RHP Jose Diaz.

In case you forgot, those two pitchers had little impact on the team’s performance. By the end of the season, the team finished in fourth place, just ahead of the Expos, and 25 games behind the NL East Champion Braves. Did Fred and Jeff say “meaningful” or “meaningless” ?

Similarly, this year, the Mets appear to still “be in it”. Maybe all they need to do is acquire one or two players, and, combined with the return of the “cavalry”, they can pull off a miracle.

Also similar is Minaya’s situation, in comparison to Duquette’s back then. It’s not bad enough that the Mets have choked away a postseason appearance two years in a row, not bad enough that they’re currently in second-to-last and ten games behind, not bad enough that their farms system is a shambles, but on top of all that, Minaya made more of a mockery of the Mets’ Mickey Mouse operation by verbally attacking a journalist at a press conference. If all those issues aren’t enough to put Minaya on thin ice, nothing is.

So, knowing that a poor finish by the Mets could finish Minaya’s career as a GM (who else would hire him after all this? XM / Sirius maybe, to team with Duquette), will he make a desperation deal, as Duquette did?

Let’s hope that ticking is indeed a clock, and not a bomb …

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. Cecilio's Scribe July 31, 2009 at 12:59 pm
    Five games, damn it. Five! Ha-ha. good stuff. i feel like there is a “smart deal” somewhere out there. probably doesn’t help with any miracle, but who knows.
  2. joejanish July 31, 2009 at 2:02 pm
    Five games, right, thanks. Five, four, six … could be ten, would it matter?

    Even with that “winning streak”, the Mets are still ten games behind the Phillies in the loss column.

    Ya Gotta Believe !!! (not)

  3. sincekindergarten July 31, 2009 at 6:32 pm
    I seem to remember two owners of Mets’ oriented blogs telling me, not all that long ago, that “ya gotta believe.” Do I think that the Mets have a chance at the NL East? No. Do I think that the Mets have a chance at the wild card? As much as I want to say “no,” I have to say “yes.” Not only do the Mets have a bunch of games this month against lower-echelon teams, but they are going to get players back off the disabled list–without having to give up any prospects in the process. So the rest of baseball–especially the “gurus”–don’t think that the Mets’ prospects are all that good. BFD. They could easily go off the charts in a positive way, too. Matter of conjecture, they probably will, too. Jon Niese did pretty well last night, but the team didn’t back him up. He’s 22 years old. There will be other times–he’s only going to get better. The Phillthies won’t be on top forever.