High Noon was 4pm Saturday — the non-waiver trade deadline. It came and went with nary a whimper from the New York Mets. The Mets stood pat while everyone around them made trades in an effort to get better. Omar Minaya is apparently happy with the team he assembled.
Make no mistake, none of the trades made Saturday will be world-changers. Those blockbusters (Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren) were made earlier in the month. These were deals to make their teams a little bit better. And with the Mets doing nothing, teams that were already better than the Mets pulled that much more ahead of them.
It appears Minaya was working the phones all morning and afternoon. He reportedly offered Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo to the Cubs for Carlos Zambrano — a “your trash for our trash” proposition. The Cubs said no, reportedly not wanting to take Castillo and his barely-to-the-outfield-grass power. This would have been a good one for the Mets. Zambrano is a handful, but he’s still got talent. When he’s on, he’s an ace. Perez and Castillo are just dead weight, although to be fair Castillo has improved considerably since his nightmare first full season with the team, when he was injured half the time, and looked disinterested when he did take the field.
Remember when Steve Phillips offered Darryl Hamilton and Dennis Cook to the Dodgers for a still-in-his-prime Gary Sheffield? Well, the Astros reportedly made a similarly ridiculous offer to the Mets — Bobby Parnell and Josh Thole for Brett Myers. I don’t think I would have traded those two for Roy Oswalt, let alone for a far inferior pitcher in Myers. Had Minaya made that deal he would have deserved far more than being fired — I’m thinking a public hanging from his ankles a la Mussolini, complete with rock throwing, torch-bearing Mets fans.
The Pirates also wanted to send former Met Octavio Dotel back to Flushing in exchange for a lefty pitcher named Robert Carson. I don’t know anything about this Carson character, but one scout called him “a sleeper,” so it was probably a good thing that Minaya turned this deal down as well.
I think other GMs sensed the Mets desperation and figured they would try to extort Minaya. But to his credit, Minaya said no. That’s all the credit he gets, however.
Minaya earlier said he didn’t want to make a trade “for the sake of making a trade.” On the surface I agree with this strategy. But what kind of a message does it send to the fans by doing nothing? Other teams were able to pull off deals that make them marginally better. Why couldn’t the Mets? Perhaps they are unwilling to take on even a dime of extra payroll. Perhaps the Mets value their prospects very highly, and don’t want to let them go. Or perhaps aside from the top tier prospects, the Mets have no one that any other team wants.
Whatever the reason, it’s more of the same from the Mets — nothing. And we’re getting damn tired of it.