If you’re looking for reasons to terminate Omar Minaya’s employment you could parse each and every move the man has made during his tenure. Or you could look at the current product on the field or the Mets’ immediate future and decide whether that justifies the man losing his job. But let’s make this easy: Omar Minaya said something in today’s USA Today that should have him out on his ear right now:
“It’s not a market where you can go young. You have to bring in players.”
This quote comes after several paragraphs in which Minaya discounts the media circus in New York, saying that you can’t pay any attention to that sort of thing. This after watching the Yankees build from youth in the early-to-mid 90s and use that to sustain a dynasty unmatched in baseball since their last one fell in the 1960s.
There is no baseball team — I repeat, no baseball team — that can sustain success without developing young, homegrown talent. Sure, some need to do it less than others, but all teams need to do it. Especially a team like the Mets who wouldn’t even be the most desirable landing spot for free agents in their own city if they were able to spend money on free agents going forward. Which they aren’t, according to most reports. While they’re certainly not in need of a fire sale or anything, the Mets have no choice but to go young and bring in kids to fill their many holes, and that was the case before, is the case now and will be the case in the future.
If Minaya thinks that you simply can’t do that because talk radio or someone will crucify him he needs to be let go right now, because building a team is an essential part of his job. If he’s been told he can’t go young by the Wilpons for those same reasons he needs to quit because they’re setting him up to fail.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.