Minaya discusses his status, trade stance
GM characterizes team as buyers, confirms vote of confidence
WASHINGTON -- After Monday's 6-2 win over the Nationals, the Mets are 44-48, nine games behind the National League East-leading Phillies. At the beginning of the season, with a payroll of more than $138 million and fresh off the free-agent signing of Francisco Rodriguez, the team was widely considered to be the class of the NL, or at least a true contender.
But injuries have decimated the club, and the losses have drawn considerable ire from its fanbase.
"I know [manager] Jerry [Manuel] and me are going to do the best job we can, and we understand that when teams lose, people are going to come up with those things," said general manager Omar Minaya. "I think it's more a reaction to when the team is playing bad, that people say, 'Hey, we should do this or we should do that.' "
During a session with reporters on Monday, Minaya addressed the team's position heading into the July 31 Trade Deadline.
Earlier on Monday, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported that the Mets had rejected a deal that would bring Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to New York in exchange for Fernando Martinez, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell and Ruben Tejada.
But when asked about the validity of such a deal, Minaya said, "I am not going to comment on rumors."
Minaya did say this when asked whether the Mets were going to be buyers or sellers: "Are we buyers? We're going to continue to talk to different clubs," he said. "If we have the opportunity to improve the club, does that make us buyers? Yes. We're going to continue to talk to clubs."
With the Mets not in immediate contention, team officials may be hesitant to part with top prospects for a two-month rental. Halladay, however, is under contract through 2010.
A smaller deal, such as the recent trade of Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur, is most likely.
As for stability at the top, in the middle of a season rife with turmoil, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon gave both Manuel and Minaya, who has a three-year extension that runs from 2010 through 2012, votes of confidence a few weeks ago.
Manuel does not remember exactly when the discussion took place, but he said it was "very encouraging" after Monday's game.
"Both Jeff and [CEO] Fred [Wilpon] have always, in my opinion, been very encouraging," said Manuel, who is in the first year of a two-year, $1 million contract. "You just try to do the best you can to represent your organization. I don't go buy a new house or anything like that."
Mark Selig is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.