Associated Press

Mets hire Omar Minaya as special assistant

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The New York Mets announced a few minutes ago that they have hired their former general manager, Omar Minaya, as a special assistant to Sandy Alderson.

Minaya, of course, helmed the Mets’ front office from the end of the 2004 season through 2010. Before that he was the GM of the Montreal Expos. In the past few years he has been a vice president in the Padres organization and as a special advisor to MLBPA executive director Tony Clark.

Minaya was a key figure in some of the Mets’ more notable — and infamous — moments in the mid-to-late 2000s. He signed Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Paul Lo Duca, Francisco Rodriguez and Jason Bay. He, most notably, engineered the trade that netted the Mets Johan Santana. He caught a ton of flak for his handling of the firing of manager Willie Randolph in 2008, which came to be known as “The Midnight Massacre” due to it taking place in a hotel room following a game and announced via a 3AM email to the press. In 2009 Minaya was involved in a heated exchange with reporter Adam Rubin during a press conference that got personal, with Minaya claiming that Rubin’s tough questioning was in part motivated by his efforts to obtain a job with the club. As with a lot of things during Minaya’s tenure, the controversy surrounding that event eclipsed the actual news that preceded it.

Which is not to say that this, in any way, marks a return to the, um, colorful Omar Minaya era for the Mets. Sandy Alderson just got a contract extension and he runs the show. The ranks of special assistants, the sort of which Minaya has been for some time, are filled with former GMs, hardly any of whom make news on their own. A lot of fuss will be made about the Mets-Minaya reunion, but it’s likely to die down quickly as he settles into the advisor role.

Still: welcome back, Omar. It was always interesting before. Maybe it’ll be interesting again.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.