You have to hand it to him. Mets GM Omar Minaya has built one hell of a team.
But enough about the Washington Nationals …
As for the Mets, while they entered yesterday last in their division, they are by no means last in their city.
And give them this, they’re trying hard to get better.
It’s tough to kill the $200-million Steinbrenners for going the cheap route and selecting a high school shortstop (C.J. Henry) in the draft, but the $100-million-plus Wilpons get kudos for reaching much deeper into their pockets, assuming they sign 6-foot-7 Wichita State righthander Mike Pelfrey.
“He’s got a high-end arm,” one AL exec said.
“He’s got a chance to be a front-of-the-rotation starter,” an NL exec said.
The Wilpons dealt with agent Scott Boras last winter (spending $119 million on Carlos Beltran) and are back for more. An executive who spoke to Mets people heard the Wilpons finally gave the go-ahead to take the Boras client (who’ll likely get $4 million to $5 million) in the final days leading up to the draft.
The Wilpons also will reach into their wallets for relief help.
Right to the last minute, the Mets were aiming for Ugueth Urbina. The problem was the Tigers couldn’t name anyone on the Mets’ big-league roster who interested them besides Mike Cameron, who has a no-trade to Detroit (can’t blame him for that).
The Mets offered prospects and the Marlins offered a prospect package including lefthander Scott Olsen. But Detroit – desperate to trade Urbina after he reportedly initiated a fight on a team flight – didn’t want to signal to fans they’re giving up. So they settled for Placido Polanco, a utilityman. Bad idea.
The Marlins need relief badly enough to have offered Glen Cove’s Craig Hansen, from St. John’s, a chance to pitch in the majors by this weekend … if he’d sign quickly and cheaply. But Hansen’s agent is Boras, who isn’t big on cheap or quick. So the Red Sox, who execs say drafted brilliantly with their unprecedented five picks in the top 59 (thanks to free-agent losses), stepped in. Unlike the Yankees, Boston spared no expense.
Even though he passed on Florida’s enticing offer, execs predict Hansen will follow the quick-ascending career path of Huston Street, Chad Cordero and Ryan Wagner.