Omar Minaya will remain an essential voice within the Mets front office with new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, according to SNY's Andy Martino. This is a major positive for the organization's new front office.
Minaya, who ran the Mets from 2015-2010, still lives in Manhattan with his family, he loves the Mets, loves New York, knows the market, knows the team's farm system, he knows the local media and since being replaced in 2010 is said by insiders to have maintained strong relationships throughout the city, at the commissioner's office and around MLB.
"Fred Wilpon will always see Omar like a son," a longtime Mets executive told me this past summer.
Following a short minor-league career, he became a scout for the Rangers, with whom he helped recruit amateur free agents Sammy Sosa, Juan González, and Pudge Rodriguez. In the mid-90s, he returned home and joined the Mets to be assistant GM to Steve Phillips. Together Minaya and Phillips drafted David Wright and signed 16-year-old Jose Reyes.
In 2002, Minaya became MLB's first Hispanic general manager when he agreed to run the Expos, with whom he was charged by the league to do whatever was necessary to attempt to keep the team in Montreal. As a result, he traded away several top prospects -- and eventual All Stars -- for veteran talent that did not produce. Minaya left the Expos when they moved to DC to become the Nationals, after which he was hired to be GM of Mets, the team he rooted for growing up as a kid in Queens.
In late summer 2015, after the Mets made their first World Series appearance in 15 years, The Hardball Times ranked Minaya's front office second among front offices that drafted future major leaguers.
For example, during 2006 through 2010, Minaya and his team of scouts drafted Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, Steven Matz and Daniel Murphy; and they signed Wilmer Flores and Jeurys Familia as amateur free agents; all of whom played a major role in getting the Mets to their first World Series appearance in 15 years.
It's also worth noting that Minaya signed R.A. Dickey to a minor-league deal in 2010, after which Dickey went on to win the 2012 NL Cy Young. Alderson eventually traded Dickey (at the peak of his fame) to the Blue Jays for Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard.
In case you forgot, Minaya didn't just draft well, he also signed free agents Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez, Paul Lo Duca and Billy Wagner, while trading to add high-priced first baseman Carlos Delgado in a deal with the Marlins. Minaya flopped on signing J.J. Putz, Oliver Perez and Jason Bay, but the previously mentioned positives outweigh these negatives.
In short, in Minaya, Van Wagenen inherits a uniquely experienced adviser, who knows how to build an organizational infrastructure, draft and sign young talent and inspire ownership to spend in free agency. And, maybe most important to Van Wagenen, Minaya has made it clear on multiple occasions the past few years that he has zero interest in returning his family to the chaotic life of a full-time GM.
Alderson's assistant GM John Ricco and special assistant J.P. Ricciardi are unlikely to be back, according to SNY's Andy Martino...
Van Wagenen has also told people around baseball that he intends to add his own assistant GM, even if Ricco remains with the organization. He's also expected to build out the team's baseball systems and analytics department. According to the NY Post's Mike Puma, former Mets manager and current special assistant Terry Collins is expected to remain, but be elevated to a more prominent role.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!