While the Bronx was busy with new additions Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns, the Mets roster remains unchanged after today's trade deadline. The Mets made one deal, trading Mike Jacobs to the Blue Jays yesterday for a player to be named later.
Mets GM Omar Minaya said the right deal for front-line starting pitcher did not develop. And with Jason Bay on the DL because of a concussion suffered last week, Jeff Francoeur became a needed asset in the outfield and was not a trade option.
“We came close to making a deal, especially in the last half hour," Omar Minaya said. "Sometimes [trade negotiations] start a week or two before the deadline. We came close, but in the end it really got to some of the prospects that were being asked for … either Ike Davis or Jonathan Niese, or even some of our younger players, whether it was [Reuben] Tejada or [Bobby] Parnell, some guys who are helping us at the major league level. We were just unable to find the right fit.”
When asked if being seven-and-a-half games out for first place in the division effected trade talks: “That played something into it. When you look at the standings you just have to be careful. The good thing we found out about this process is that different organizations like the young prospects that we have. But you have to be careful with giving up blue chip prospects … Last year we were sitting here thinking we didn’t have any prospects, but this year we’ve got some pretty good guys. Look at what Jonathan Niese is doing, look at what Ike Davis is doing, and [Rueben] Tejada and [Josh] Thole, we have a whole bunch of young prospects.”
Minaya said the Mets were in talks for a starting pitcher, but the right deal did not develop: “I felt it had to be a front-line starter. There was not a guy out there that I was going to bring in that would do the job that Dickey has done. Is there a fifth starter, a guy I could fit in there, possibly, so we could move Takahashi to the pen? That’s still a possibility because there will be some guys that will clear after the trading deadline.”
Minaya insisted that the Mets will continue negotiating with teams as players get placed on waivers over the next month: “Let’s just remember we can still make trades tomorrow, we can still make trades after the trading deadline. I do believe we will continue to have dialogues with teams. Opportunities will be there after the trading deadline … Some of our moves were guys coming back, like Beltran, like Castillo coming back. Those are some of the moves where we made upgrades from a position player front. And I feel we will be able to make some moves after the trade deadline.”
With rumors swirling about the Wilpons’ financial constraints since the Madoff scandal last year, Minaya said money was not a major issue at the deadline: “Finances were not a factor at all.”