As I type this, Fred and Jeff Wilpon are giving a press conference regarding the firings of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. There have been some high points. Fred Wilpon acknowledging that the Mets haven’t won enough and, for the first time I can recall, speaking passionately about the team and saying that it means a lot of him and his family.
This one didn’t ring true, though: Jeff Wilpon, when asked if the next Mets’ GM will have full autonomy to make personnel decisions:
“The old general manager had that.”
Fred Wilpon added that Omar Minaya’s lack of autonomy is “a perception that’s out there, and it’s an incorrect perception.”
I guess the reason that perception is out there is that there have been countless reports by well-connected reporters saying otherwise. This perception isn’t helped by Fred Wilpon going on to admit that he and Jeff “don’t know how to pick ballplayers,: and that “there
isn’t one major decision that hasn’t been made at the Mets that hasn’t
been made with the three of us,” referring, I presume to both of the Wilpons and Minaya.
If the owner and the team president are in on every major personnel decision with the GM, how on Earth does the GM have autonomy?
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.