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TidBit: Omar Speaks

February 14, 2009

Adam Rubin of The Daily News has an article in which Omar explains the signing of Livan Hernandez, on bringing back Valentin and speaks about John Maine.

On signing Livan:

Omar Minaya said the motivation for signing Livan Hernandez to a minor-league deal has to do with the camp being depleted by the World Baseball Classic and the belief that you’re safe if you have eight to 10 starter candidates in camp. “Inventory” is the word Minaya used. Reports are that Hernandez’s velocity was just 78-83 mph in Colorado late last season. Minaya revealed that he was very close to trading for Hernandez at the ’06 deadline once Duaner Sanchez had the taxi cab accident, but instead pulled the trigger and acquired Oliver Perez from the Pirates. Minaya also mentioned he wanted Triple-A Buffalo to be strong this year.

On John Maine:

John Maine appears to have unofficially retained his title as the team’s fitness champ. He blew away the field in pitchers’ testing, running 300 yards in 47 seconds and change.

On Valentin:

Minaya said he envisions Jose Valentin at Triple-A, serving as a player/unofficial coach. He called that was the role catcher Mike DiFelice once had when Mike Pelfrey was in Double-A. Fernando Tatis was supposed to have a similar role in the minors last year, but took off and revived his career.

On Pedro & getting another starter:

Minaya ruled out signing Pedro Martinez and adding another starter. “I think it’s fair to say we’re set with these guys,” Minaya said.

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