Friday, January 22, 2010

Latest Move Shows How Much Minaya Has Grown

“A lot of it is going to depend on how he recuperates,” Mets GM Omar Minaya said. “I don’t want to put a specific time on when he’ll be back.”

Minaya’s comments regarding Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran’s return from arthroscopic knee surgery came after he had just acquired 35-year-old outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr. in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels.

Matthews, Jr. will join Angel Pagan as the most likely candidates for the Mets centerfielder position, barring any further setbacks, of course. The former LA Angel was sent to New York along with the majority of his contract paid in full for right-handed reliever Brain Stokes.

The underachieving veteran could very well become potential trade bait if he makes the most of his opportunities spelling Beltran who is undergoing rehabilitation. With the highly-touted Fernando Martinez waiting in the wings down in Triple-A, I find it hard to believe Matthews, Jr. will be around longer than necessary.

“He’s a very versatile player,” Minaya said of Matthews. “I think it’s going to be an open competition. That’s the same thing that I told Gary [Matthews, Jr.] when he asked that. Nobody’s going to be given a job. Whoever performs is going to be given the opportunity.”

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