When Omar Minaya was brought to New York to take over as general manager of the Mets, New York was divided equally into two sections: lovers and haters. 

Minaya’s biggest strength as GM is also his biggest weakness in that he is a patchwork GM. Let me explain: Minaya sees a potential problem spot in the organization and typically addresses it in a quick method in order to “stop the bleeding,” similar to a band-aid (hence the patchwork title). However, Minaya has (on several occasions) failed to build the organizational depth that is necessary to a Major League ball club. To his credit, he has improved from earlier in his tenure, but is still no Billy Beane, not by a long shot.

For example, the 2009 Mets were hit by a slew of injuries that left the organization searching for answers at literally every position. The shallow depth of the team was exposed when Minaya was forced to trade for career journeyman SS Wilson Valdez just so the team could throw someone out there who could actually play the position. At one point last season, the Mets had a starting outfield of Jeremy Reed, Angel Pagan, and Cory Sullivan. Wow.

Now in 2010, the Mets still have the same problems. What would happen if golden boy David Wright were to ever seriously injure himself? The Mets would start 32-year-old journeyman Mike Hessman (just promoted from Triple-A today) as the regular guy? What if Jose Reyes goes down again? A middle infield of the aging Luis Castillo and future manager Alex Cora? Yikes. This is a team that started Mike Jacobs as its opening day cleanup hitter, then tried Fernando Tatis and Frank Catalanatto out of the spot before turning to youngster Ike Davis, so it’s easy to see that this is not a new problem.

Left field was the problem spot last season, so what does Omar Minaya do? He signs Jason Bay to a ridiculously bloated (but necessary) four-year deal, but what if Bay were to go down? I know that Jeff Francoeur is just riding the pine, and despite Bay’s poor stats, he still breaks up the lineup better than Frenchy any day of the week. 

My point is simple: winning is built through organizational depth, and I’m not just talking about Triple-A fodder. It’s about creating a system and a style of play that the front office believes in, and executing that vision with the players that are most fit for the idea. Not simply just throwing talent together and trying to make it work. 

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