Brian Costa, of The Star-Ledger, put out a semi-must-read for Mets fans last night:
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mets general manager Omar Minaya arrived here shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, wheeling an orange suitcase behind him (no, he said, it was not stuffed with cash for free agents). Minaya had no meetings with other teams or agents planned for Sunday night, but expect talks to pick up when the winter meetings begin Monday, at least on the trade front.
Here's what Minaya had to say in the lobby of the Indianapolis Marriott:
Q: What's your feeling coming into the meetings here? Do you anticipate getting a lot of things done?
A: A lot of times you come in here -- most of the time, when you get here, you've done some work to get to the meetings. Sometimes you get some things done like we did last year that were unexpected. With the free agent stuff, that seems to be going a little bit slower this year than in past years. But once you bring a lot of people together, things tend to happen. Like most years, a lot of the work has been done as far as talking to GMs. There has been some trade potential out there. I know I talked to a couple of GMs -- we're hopefully going to get together and get further along in the discussions. It's almost a domino effect. Once a free agent or two gets signed, then it becomes a domino effect whether it's for a trade or for signings.
Q: Do you have any sense of, if you do get something done while you're here, whether it'll be a trade or free-agent signing?
A: We have potential trades that, in conversations with other GMs, could happen here. But at the same time, we're also having conversations with the agents. I think teams are getting more and more offers out there now on some of the quote-unquote better free agents. Does it happen here? Does it happen a week from here? I don't know. But I will tell you that there is more conversation going on at both fronts, which leads me to believe either a trade or a free agent could be signed at some time.
Q: Have you prioritized the holes you have to fill?
A: You have an idea what you want to get done, as far as your priority. We do have a wish list of what we'd like to fill in the order we'd like to fill them. But a lot of times, it just doesn't happen that way.
Q: You've been on the phone with all these GMs since the GM meetings. What is it about being here and talking face to face that gets things going?
A: That's a good question. A lot of times, you ask yourself, 'Why is it that when we come together, in this day and age where we communicate so much with e-mails, we communicate so much by phone...' Something about the dynamics of coming together gets things done. That's a question I always ask myself.
Q: Do you have any meetings scheduled for tonight?
Q: Do you feel like you are under more pressure to get something done this year?
A: I don't want to say you feel pressure to do something, but there's no doubt that we have to find a way to improve our club if possible. I remember coming here last year and we were trying to get Frankie Rodriguez. We knew that and we were focusing on that. Coming into the meetings, we had meetings with the agent, and we thought we would get it done and address that. This year, it's not as clear as it was last year. Last year we knew we needed a closer and we ended up getting two closers. This year we have more pieces, more parts that we have to kind of fill in. Are we going to be able to fill them all here? I don't know that. But as far as the pressure ... When you start putting pressure on yourself that you have to do something, it's not good. But it makes sense when you have a year like we had last year that we have to address those needs.
Q: Most people consider this free-agent market very lean. How would you assess it?
A: We've had better free-agent markets in past years.
Q: How does that impact you?
A: You have to identify what you want and do the best you can to go get it. The question in getting it is, the pieces that you want, are they ready to be done at what you feel the cost should be for that player?
Q: Does slow market work in your favor for trades? Are teams more willing to trade because of lack of movement on free-agent market?
A: I think this year, because of the market, teams will at least attempt to try to fill their needs via trade, more so than in past years. ... There's a market for a couple guys who are premium guys. But once you get beyond those guys, the other guys that are available are pretty much the same.
Q: Can you afford to save your dollars for next year's free-agent crop?
A: Well, look, I think, first of all, that if we get our guys healthy, we have a core group of guys ... It's not like we have to do a total revamping. ... I'm of the belief that it's 162 games, and whether you do things in the winter or you do things in season ... At the end of the day, we do have to improve our club. But if the players are not there on the free-agent market, you just can't force it.
Q: Do you read www.MetsUnderground.com?
...fine, so that last question I made up... sue me...
...if interested in further amusement, Omar (Part 1) is here... while, Omar (Part 2) is here...