Omar Minaya is out of control

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As was widely reported late yesterday afternoon, Omar Minaya went off the deep end during his Tony Bernazard press conference,
strongly implying that The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin’s reporting
of the Bernazard shenanigans was motivated by Rubin being frustrated
after not getting a job with the Mets for which he lobbied, or wanting
to get Bernazard fired to take his job, or something along those lines.
At least that’s what I took from it. However you slice it, it was
bizarre. Go watch it here if you missed it.

Rubin was livid during the presser — thanks for the split screen SNY! — and today he responds:

As I told the reporters who descended upon me after Minaya left the
press conference, I have never, ever, asked Omar Minaya for a job. Or
even career advice. Frankly, I’ve never been very close to him. What I
have done, and what Mets COO Jeff Wilpon acknowledged later yesterday,
is ask Wilpon for “career advice.” My question: Is it even remotely
feasible for a baseball writer to get into an administrative job with a
team – any team – down the road and what would I need for that to be

Wilpon once invited me to his office at Citi Field for an advisory session. I never took him up on it.

Some people are complaining about Rubin’s potential ethical lapses
in all of this, but I don’t have much of a problem with him talking
generally with the Mets about his career prospects, if that’s all he
did. It’s a tough world out there, and the kinds of journalistic
integrity principles people cite in such situations – you can’t
possibly talk to the people you cover about anything! — seem kind of
quaint in a world where everyone is hustling to stay alive all the damn
time. Besides, this is tabloid journalism we’re talking about here. If
what they’re reporting is true — and Rubin’s stories about Bernazard
have not been questioned on that front — I really don’t care what
Rubin’s career development plan looks like. And even if that truly
matters, there is nothing short of Omar Minaya’s insane ramblings to
support the notion that Rubin wrote what he wrote out of spite or
anything. The Bernazard stories were legit news, and he got the stories
right. That, as they say, should be the end of the story.

The bigger question here is why anyone lets Omar Minaya near a
microphone. Or near the controls of a baseball team for that matter.
Bernazard was his guy, and look how well that turned out. The Mets are
his team, and look how good that’s going. Rather than take
responsibility for any of that, he’s setting the phasers for “paranoid”
and going out and attacking reporters.

If I worked for the Mets’ media relations department, I’d be
hesitant to knock down the press conference table this morning, because
by all rights there should be another one very, very soon.

Report: Ben Zobrist’s price tag is currently four years, $60 million

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”

There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.

He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.

Wilin Rosario elects to become free agent

Wilin Rosario
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.

Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.

Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.

He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.

Cardinals finished runner-up to Red Sox in David Price sweepstakes

David Price
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

These kind of after-the-ink-has-dried reports have to be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they’re fantastic conversation-starters …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Cardinals “finished runner-up” to the Red Sox in the bidding for free agent left-hander David Price, who signed with Boston on Monday for a record seven years and $217 million.

There were reports early on that the Red Sox were going to have to overpay on Price because he wanted to either stay in Toronto or make the move to the more pitcher-friendly National League. And maybe they did go significantly above and beyond the next-best offer to land him.

But the report from Nightengale serves as an indication that the Cardinals are ready and willing to spend big money ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does that chunk of change now get directed toward Jason Heyward? Or might the Cardinals pounce one of the falling dominos in this still-loaded starting pitching market? What about both?

St. Louis lost Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery last month and both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha carry some injury concerns into 2016. There’s money to spend there with a new billion-dollar local television deal about ready to kick in.