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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Signing Bay continues disturbing pattern

A bit of (seeming) trivia from Jeff Passan: before Omar Minaya signed Jason Bay, he traded him for Lou Collier ... and before the Mets signed Jason Bay, they traded him (and Bobby Jones and Josh Reynolds) for Steve Reed (and Jason Middlebrook).

What does it all mean? Well, to Passan it means that Minaya and the Mets, once again, are valuing the wrong end of the talent/salary scale ...

In fairness, after bringing in past-his-prime Pedro and signing Carlos Beltran, the Mets did average 89 wins over the next four seasons. There were the best team in the National League in 2006, and were (arguably) the best team in the National League East, on paper anyway, entering each of the next three seasons (yes, even 2009). Thanks to the Phillies and any number of other things, it just didn't work out that way.

Still, it's a bit shocking that the Mets have developed only five All-Stars in the past quarter-century. And that only one of them was a pitcher. And that the pitcher was Bobby Jones. It's also a bit shocking that the Mets, who had the second-highest payroll in the majors in 2009, spent less money than anyone else in the draft.

Granted, they'd given up their first-round pick by signing Francisco Rodriguez. And they really have upped their investment in international talent. But when are the results going to show up in the majors? As Baseball America's Adam Rubin notes, just one of the Mets' domestic minor-league teams finished 2009 with a winning record, and the system's .451 winning percentage was the second-worst in baseball.

Minaya has been the Mets' general manager for five years. Wright and Reyes were in the pipeline before he arrived. He's spent a lot of money, but bought just one playoff appearance. At some point soon, it will be fair to ask some tough questions.