I'll cast judgment on Francisco Rodriguez tomorrow, but I will say this - getting K-Rod at Brad Lidge money is good work by Omar Minaya. This is where Minaya excels - he picks out the elite free agents on the market and pays them just enough to play for the Mets. It sounds simple, but large-market GMs often make the mistake of spending money because they can, not because they properly leverage resources to bring in the best players. The Mets will pay K-Rod the same amount of money that the Mariners will pay Carlos Silva over the next three years - and that's all you need to know about that.
I'll probably expand on this at a later date, but what Minaya lacks as a general manager is creativity. He seems almost formulaic when it comes to roster construction - identify needs, make list of the best players available through trades or free agency and go after the highest player on the list. If Player A can't be had, move to Player B and repeat until you get someone. Minaya never seems to identify market inefficiencies if they don't correlate directly with his plans at the moment. He doesn't sneak up on GMs who are looking to move good players who aren't immediately obvious fits for the Mets as constructed at that very moment.
Even now, there is a glut of good-hit, no-field corner outfielders on the market. The Mets are planning to platoon Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis in left field, while hoping that Ryan Church's bell hasn't been permanently rung from the concussions of last season. Minaya, however, continues to publicly say that his focus is on pitching and that he has no interest in upgrading the corner outfield spots.
I hope it's just silly posturing - because otherwise it's one more indication that Minaya follows a script when it comes to roster construction and lacks the ability to make changes to the script when opportunity presents itself.
John Maine (arbitration eligible)
Jon Niese (renewable)
Aaron Heilman (arbitration eligible)
Pedro Feliciano (arbitration eligible)
Duaner Sanchez (arbitration eligible)
Ambiorix Burgos (arbitration eligible)
Brian Stokes (renewable)
Joe Smith (renewable)
Eddie Kunz (renewable)
Carlos Muniz (renewable)
Robert Parnell (renewable)
Brandon Knight (renewable)
Jason Vargas (renewable)
Billy Wagner (out for 2009 season)
Robinson Cancel (renewable)
Daniel Murphy (renewable)
Argenis Reyes (renewable)
Mike Carp (renewable)
Ryan Church (arbitration eligible)
Angel Pagan (renewable)
Nick Evans (renewable)
Tony Armas, Jr.
Adam Bostick (minor league free agent)
Nelson Figueroa (minor league free agent)
Gustavo Molina (minor league free agent)
* - "I'll Be the Judge" recap completed