While Jim Baumbach quotes Mets assistant GM Tony Bernazard as expressing interest in free agent C Ivan Rodriguez, the New York Post’s Bart Hubbach implies manager Jerry Manuel didn’t have much of a say in the club’s decision Tuesday to release reliever Duaner Sanchez.

The usually affable Manuel was at times terse when pressed on the move, which saved the Mets roughly $1.413 million of Sanchez’s $1.6875 million salary because he was put on waivers before Major League Baseball’s March 18 deadline.

Asked if he was on board with Minaya’s decision, a glum Manuel said: “Sure. Yeah.”

Manuel appeared to be embarrassed by the sudden turn of events, considering Sanchez’s release came less than 24 hours after Manuel spoke of the reliever being firmly in his regular-season plans.

Manuel admitted the decision blindsided him when it was delivered to the manager late Monday night in a meeting that Manuel said was brief and one-sided.

“I wouldn’t say [it was] a vigorous or a long meeting,” Manuel said. “I think from Omar’s point of view, I’m sure it [was] discussed quite a lot.”

Minaya had the final say, and the GM didn’t feel Sanchez was capable of regaining the dominant form he showed before a July 2006 taxi accident in Miami prompted reconstructive shoulder surgery.