Omar Minaya revealed some interesting information about the Baseball Winter Meetings in an exclusive interview with Steve Serby of the NY Post.
Serby served up a great volley of questions that really captured the moments that led up to K-Rod’s signing and the lead-up to the Putz trade.
Q: As negotiations progressed, you looked K-Rod in the eye, and what did he tell you?
A: “Hey look, I just want you to know, I would like to play in New York. I like the energy. I want to do the best I can to help this team win a championship.” That’s good to know that as an owner. I wanted Jeff to hear that from him.
Q: K-Rod had one concern.
A: He also wanted to know “Who’s the guy that’s gonna give me the ball?”
Q: What did you tell him?
A: “Look, we’re gonna try to trade for a guy.” I didn’t want to give him false hope.
Q: All the while, you were closing in on a trade for J.J. Putz.
A: I’d been talking to Seattle about Putz from the first day Jack (Zduriencik) got the (GM) job when I called to congratulate him.
Q: When you called him after you’d landed K-Rod, and he asked you if your interest in Putz was dead, what did you tell him?
A: “No, how can we work this out? Let’s be creative. How can I make it work for you?”
Q: But you wouldn’t trade your young pitching prospects Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell.
A: So what happened was, he asked me, “Can you get me (outfielder Franklin) Gutierrez and (Aaron) Heilman? I called Mark (Indians GM Mark Shapiro) and asked, “Will you do Gutierrez for (Joe) Smith?” ’cause they like Smith. He said, “Let me think about it.”
Make sure you check out the full interview… great stuff…
You really gotta hand it to Omar. Despite the two chokes, he always manages to make the Mets look great in the off season.
By the way, the Mets never met with Trevor Hoffman because his flight was delayed.