NEW YORK -- Seven years after the Mets parted ways with Omar Minaya, their long-term general manager whose tenure was pockmarked by peaks and valleys, the Mets have brought Minaya back into their front office. The team announced Friday that Minaya has accepted a position to become a special assistant
NEW YORK -- Seven years after the Mets parted ways with Omar Minaya, their long-term general manager whose tenure was pockmarked by peaks and valleys, the Mets have brought Minaya back into their front office. The team announced Friday that Minaya has accepted a position to become a special assistant to current GM Sandy Alderson, who replaced him after the 2010 season.
Minaya will work with a particular focus on scouting and player development.
"Christmas came earlier than expected, being able to come back home to be with the Mets, to be able to do what I love the most, which is scouting and development," Minaya said. "I'm coming home to a Mets family that is very dear."
Minaya, 59, served as Mets GM from 2004-10, drafting and developing players such as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda -- all of whom played major roles on the club's 2015 World Series team after his departure. Although the Mets won the 2006 NL East title under Minaya, they suffered September collapses in each of the next two seasons to miss the playoffs.
Two years later, following consecutive fourth-place finishes, the Mets dismissed him and then-manager Jerry Manuel, bringing in Alderson and Terry Collins, who is now also a special assistant to the GM. While reports indicated that Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon, a longtime ally of Minaya's, was behind his re-hire, Minaya stressed that Alderson was also on board with the move.
"Omar has a long history with the Mets," Alderson said in a statement. "He has served the club well in many different areas. Omar will be a resource on scouting and player development, will consult on player acquisitions and will serve as a community ambassador. We are very happy to have him back in the organization."
The Mets lost a front-office member in September when manager of baseball operations Adam Fisher left to become assistant GM in Atlanta, a position he held for only a month. While Fisher, a Harvard graduate, was known for his analytical bent, Minaya is regarded more as a traditional scout with heavy experience in the international arena. He, former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, and longtime Mets assistant GM John Ricco now form the core of New York's front office.
"I've had a lot of history with Sandy," Minaya said, brushing aside the notion that there will be any awkwardness working for the man who replaced him. "I have so much respect for Sandy. And the fact that he wanted me back, that's how we kind of turned the corner. … For me, it's an honor."
A longtime Rangers scout in the 1980s and '90s, Minaya became Major League Baseball's first Latino GM when the Expos named him to that position in 2002. He went from there to the Mets, then to the Padres as vice president of baseball operations from 2011-15. Minaya was also a member of the selection committee for the United States Olympic and Pan American Baseball teams that won gold medals in 2000. Most recently, he worked in the MLB Players' Association as a special advisor.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Minaya moved to Queens as a child, growing up in the shadow of Shea Stadium. He eventually made his home in New Jersey, where his son parlayed a star high school basketball career into a scholarship at the University of South Carolina.
"I'm from Queens," Minaya said. "I still go to Queens. I still go to Mama's. Corona. Jackson Heights. But to be able to be part of a community … that's part of my job."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.