Yanks bring on Minaya as senior advisor to baseball ops

January 5th, 2023

The Yankees added another experienced evaluator to their brain trust on Thursday, announcing the appointment of Omar Minaya as the club’s senior advisor to baseball operations.

Minaya’s introduction came one day after the Yankees announced the hiring of Brian Sabean as an executive advisor to senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman. Minaya, who owns almost four decades of experience in baseball front offices, will also report to Cashman.

“It’s an honor,” Minaya said. “This is a successful organization, but the goal every year is to win the World Series. I’m looking forward to doing whatever Brian and the staff want from me.”

Minaya said that he believes his addition, as well as Sabean’s, could add “balance” to the Bombers’ internal operations. The club has been criticized in recent years for its heavy reliance on analytics; while Minaya and Sabean both believe in statistical analysis, they are expected to lend voices to old-school scouting techniques. 

“You’re looking at somewhere close to 70-plus years of experience in different roles,” Minaya said. “I think what we’re going to bring to the group is experience in scouting, leadership and team-building, because we’ve done it. We started off as scouts; that’s what we like to do. We’re blessed to be where we are in our careers, to be able to scout from top to bottom.”

The hirings came after managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner bristled in the wake of the club’s elimination in the American League Championship Series, refuting suggestions that the organization had grown “stagnant.”

“We get accused of being a stagnant organization sometimes. We're not,” Steinbrenner said. “We're constantly evolving, and Cash is great at that. I think all of our investments in performance science the last year or two are kind of a testament to that. That's kind of a new thing that's coming into the mix. And it's also very well-balanced, as I am very well-balanced. We believe in a lot of analytics. We also believe in a lot of pro scouting.”

Minaya, 64, was baseball’s first Hispanic general manager when he took control of the Expos from 2002-04. He spent the last year serving as an amateur scouting consultant for Major League Baseball. The Queens native was also involved across town with the Mets, as a special assistant to the general manager from 2017-20 and as a club ambassador from 2020-22.

After beginning his career as a Rangers scout and coach from 1985-97, Minaya joined the Mets, serving as their senior assistant general manager from September 1997 to February 2002 and as their executive vice president and general manager from September 2004 to October 2010.

Minaya also served as the vice president of baseball operations for the Padres from December 2011 to January 2015, and spent three years as a senior advisor to the executive director of the MLB Players Association from 2015-17.

“I think we all agree that the game has changed,” Minaya said. “I think we all have to be open to new information. I’m a big believer in the human element. I’m a big believer that the human element counts. Any time you make a decision, it’s got to be a balanced decision. I think this [Yankees] organization has done a great job, because look at the track record, look at the winning. But we always want to get better. I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”