When Omar Minaya (above) was the general manager of the Expos, most of his major moves had to wait until January, when he could sort through baseball’s bargain bins.
“Maybe that’s still in me,” Minaya said Sunday.
Minaya is now the Mets’ general manager, but with the winter meetings ending Monday, he has still not implemented his plans. He is prepared to leave without making a deal, with the slugging first basemen Carlos Delgado and Richie Sexson seemingly slipping away.
“I don’t feel there’s a rush to do something, just for the sake of going up to the podium to make an announcement,” Minaya said.
The Mets need a starter, and they met again on Sunday with Fernando Cuza, the agent for Pedro MartÃnez and Odalis Perez. Minaya said he still hoped to sign MartÃnez but had also extended an offer to another starter, possibly the left-handed Perez.
MartÃnez has a three-year offer to stay in Boston, but the sides have been unable to work out acceptable bonuses, according to an agent who was briefed on the talks. Minaya conceded that Cuza could be using the Mets’ offer as leverage with the Red Sox, who might not be able to afford shortstop Edgar Renteria if they sign MartÃnez.
Whatever happens with MartÃnez, Minaya will keep a pipeline open to Cuza, who also represents outfielder Moises Alou. The Mets seem to prefer Alou as their right fielder, figuring he can make the switch from left.
Delgado met with the Yankees and the Mets at the winter meetings, but he is not close to signing and did not receive an appealing offer from the Mets. The Mets believe that Sexson will sign elsewhere, with Seattle considered the leading contender.
The Mets could turn to a better defensive first baseman instead. The Mets are interested in the free agent John Olerud, and trading for Boston’s Doug Mientkiewicz is another option.
One baseball official said on Sunday that the Mets had proposed a mammoth trade that would send Manny Ramirez and Mientkiewicz to New York for Mike Piazza and Kaz Matsui, but the official said it was unlikely that the deal would happen.
Minaya said he would speak with Dick Moss, the agent for the free-agent Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. But Minaya virtually guaranteed that Matsui would remain the Mets’ second baseman, despite reports that the Mets had included him in trade talks.
“Kaz Matsui is going to be our second baseman next year,” Minaya said. “We are not talking or entertaining anything with Kaz Matsui.”
Hey, nice try on that Piazza/Matsui for Ramirez/Mientkiewic proposal, Omar. Perhaps throwing in Jae Seo (for Curt Schilling) would’ve gotten that one done?