Mets general manager
In reality, the Mets very likely need a big finish for Minaya to retain the GM job, people familiar with the situation say. A decision is expected on Minaya and manager
"I focus on doing my job today, and that's all I can control,'' Minaya said by phone when asked about his chances for staying in the GM job for 2011.
Asked earlier this month by a
While Manuel has been perceived to need a big year because he lacks a guaranteed contract for 2011 (the Mets hold an option), Minaya has been seen as far safer. He was thought by many to have an excellent chance to keep his job because of his strong relationship with Wilpon and a contract that guarantees another two years at about $1 million per year, slightly higher depending on bonuses. However, that $2 million or so total isn't viewed as a significant enough sum of money alone to sway ownership, and the Mets' very up-and-down season and a strong likelihood that they will not make the playoffs has put him in clear peril, several sources say.
Minaya has been around New York most of his life, and he understands the score, even if no one is saying it publicly. He surely also understands a big finish is a boost he probably needs.
Minaya would likely be reassigned to another position if he isn't kept as GM. He is well-regarded in the organization and around baseball for having a keen eye for talent, being an outside-the-box thinker and a team player.
Some possible candidates to replace Minaya could include ex-Padres GM and current Yankees consultant
Towers (who could be in contention for other GM openings this offseason), Daniels (the Rangers pay very well and he's believed to make more than Minaya) and especially Gillick would command high salaries.
Minaya had some big early years with the Mets (his Mets teams are still more than 40 games over .500) but they aren't approaching ownership expectations by playing .500 baseball so far this year even though that marks a stark improvement with a lowered payroll (but still one of the highest in baseball) from their 70-92 record of a year ago.
Despite a mostly disappointing last year and a half for the Mets, in many ways Minaya is suited for the job he fills. He has shown a very thick skin in the face of harsh criticism (like every GM, he doesn't hold the purse strings and thus doesn't have the final say-so over some decisions) and talented first-round picks such as pitcher
Minaya had great initial success as GM of the Mets, leading ownership to bestow a three-year extension that guaranteed about $1 million per year after the 2008 season. But things haven't gone as planned the past couple years. Injuries have played a role, but while some of the smaller signings (
Wilpon's words were probably intended to be kind, but they may prove to have been spoken too soon. Mets ownership is not happy with a season so far that appears to be falling short of their expectations following the disastrous 2009 season. Plus, Wilpon isn't the lone decider. Club COO
Minaya knows things change, and that the well-intentioned Fred Wilpon once gave manager
Fred Wilpon has been known as a strong supporter of Minaya's for years. But Minaya is in daily contact with his bosses, and knows more than one rushed sound bite from his boss might suggest. Those behind-the-scenes talks surely have been more revealing and have taken on a more detailed and different tenor than that brief interview Wilpon gave to the
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