09.27.05

Omar : Cliff’s Our Guy

Posted in Baseball at 12:11 pm by

Perhaps unfamiliar with the concept of buying low and selling high, Mets GM Omar Minaya claims that LF Cliff Floyd, CSTB’s choice for Comeback Player Of The Year Who Didn’t Testify Before A Grand Jury, won’t be shopped around this winter. From Newsday’s David Lennon.

It took almost three years, but Cliff Floyd finally has convinced the Mets he can be more than merely a bargaining chip for Sammy Sosa or Manny Ramirez. When the Mets make another push for Ramirez this offseason, which they plan to do, general manager Omar Minaya insists that Floyd’s name will not be part of those discussions.

Or any other trade talks for that matter. “I think that going into next year, Cliff is a very important part of our team,” Minaya said before last night’s rain-delayed game against the Phillies.

“Everybody knew that Cliff had great potential. The key this season is that Cliff has been able to stay healthy and play every day. He’s stepped it up to a level that he’s never done before, and going into ’06, he’s going to be a big part of our team.” Minaya, like any GM, reserves the right to change his mind, and with six months before Opening Day, he has plenty of time to be tempted. But Floyd has built a pretty strong argument for sticking around, with a career- best 32 home runs and 96 RBIs so far and seven games left to reach the 100-RBI plateau for only the second time in his 12-year career. In his first two seasons, Floyd played a total of 221 games. This year, he has a chance of reaching 150 for the first time since 1998, when Floyd played 153 for the Marlins.

On the flip side, Floyd is heading into the final season of a fouryear, $26-million contract, and has never been more attractive as trade bait. The question Minaya has to ask himself is this: How much better can he do in leftfield? Floyd, hobbled by leg injuries in his first two seasons, has even played superb defense to complement his power numbers. But as far as looking into the future, those are matters out of his control.

I’m all for giving Floyd credit for being the Mets’ 2005 c0-MVP (along with David Wright), but it would be foolish to make too much of Minaya’s statements. The club desperately needs a first baseman, a catcher and a top flight closer next year and it will take more than Steve Trachsel to bring much back in return.

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