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The Mets and "winning the offseason"

Say this for Omar Minaya - the guy could razzle and dazzle you in the Hot Stove League.

Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran in Year One. Billy Wagner and Carlos Delgado in Year Two. Moises Alou in Year Three. Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz in Year Four. Jason Bay in Year Five.

Of course, by Year Five, no one was buying into the Mets' exciting winters anymore. Understandably.

Contrast those headline-grabbing moves with what's going on with the Mets right now. The brass - Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, J.P. Ricciardi, John Ricco and manager Terry Collins, with COO Jeff Wilpon checking in, too - has been meeting at Citi Field this week to discuss moves for 2011 and beyond.

You know the caliber of stuff they're talking. Chris Young personifies it. Forget about big names. They're not going after even medium names.

When it comes to player personnel, in other words, the Mets are not going to be "winning" anything in the court of public opinion.

Which is refreshing, really.

Can you remember how many times in the past few years that Minaya would pull the "You guys thought we would be good" line, after another Mets disappointment? Oy gevalt. I mean, sure, it was nice to be respected, but teams shouldn't be using media or fan pre-approval as crutches when things don't work out as hoped.

This new group clearly doesn't care about pre-approval. If it did, Collins wouldn't be the manager right now.

Covering both New York teams this week is sort of humorous. Talking to Yankees people, you're dealing with Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee...oh, and by the way, they're probably going to re-sign the greatest closer ever shortly.

On the Mets side, the urgent question to ask was, "Are you guys going to non-tender Sean Green?"

(The answer: They were still mulling that one over yesterday, but they'll let John Maine go, as expected. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mets locked up Green tonight for a salary very similar to last year's $975,000.)

So the Mets won't be labeled as big offseason "winners," and that's fine. They're not blowing off 2011 - Collins was hired in part to shake the team out of its slumber - but they are sort of writing off the year.

If they contend, eminently possible in the National League, then bully for them. If not, then they'll subtly blame it on the old regime and have some dollars ready to spend a year from now.

Such perspective, you could argue, equates a sort of offseason victory the Mets haven't enjoyed in a long time.

--Good column by Ken Rosenthal about the Rangers and Cliff Lee. To reiterate an obvious point, the Rangers simply don't have the sort of room for error that the Yankees do when it comes to whiffing on a big contract. Maybe Lee, who turns 33 next August, will remain elite for the next five seasons. That's not a great bet, though.

--Buster Olney breaks down the free-agent domino effect that will probably kick into action next week, when Lee is expected to sign (yes, probably with the Yankees).

--In addition to meeting with Carl Crawford, the Red Sox also have met with Jayson Werth, ESPN Boston reports.

--Random shout-out to Twitter.

--See ya later.

 

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