Fred Wilpon would like Omar Minaya to remain with Mets in advisory role

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Mets owner Fred Wilpon told Ian Begley of ESPN New York earlier today that he would like former general manager Omar Minaya to remain with the organization in an advisory role.

“I think Omar is a very good man and a very good person also,” Wilpon said at the Police Athletic League’s 18th annual Sportsnite at Cirpiani Restaurant. “I think [finding] the right position for Omar is going to be helpful for Omar and helpful for this organization.”

Minaya had a sit-down with new Mets general manager Sandy Alderson earlier this month in order to discuss that very possibility, though the club is currently waiting to hear if he’s truly interested in sticking around. The Mets still owe him $1.1 million per year through 2012.

Wilpon didn’t say that he had a specific job description in mind for Minaya, but indicated that he’d like to see him involved with scouting, possibly with a focus on international talent. Considering that three of the Mets’ top prospects — Jenrry Mejia, Cesar Puello and Wilmer Flores — are all from Latin America, that sounds like it would be right up his alley, assuming Alderson is on board.

BREAKING: Manny Machado to sign with the Padres: 10 years, $300 million

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Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Manny Machado has a deal with the San Diego Padres. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the deal is for ten years and $300 million with an opt-out after year five.

At the moment there is some disagreement as to how “done” this deal is, with Padres chairman Ron Fowler saying “We do not have a deal. We are continuing discussions.” Ken Rosenthal, however, says that’s “semantics” and that the financial terms are in place, with the deal requiring over some final touches on language and Machado’s physical, which will likely be a formality.

The Padres were a late entrant into the Machado sweepstakes, but they reportedly met with Machado last week. The club has obviously not won for a long time, but they have a strong farm system. While that usually mitigates against a big free agent signing, Machado’s age — 26 — means that he’s still likely to be a productive player when that core of prospects is mature. And if it doesn’t develop, hey, he’s made some serious bank and can still opt-out at an age when he might get another decent paycheck.

For the Padres, Machado represents the biggest single investment in a player in club history. Last year they spent too, of course, giving Eric Hosmer an eight-year, $144 million contract, but this is definitely next-level. As for the baseball side of things, it’s likely that Machado will be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop. While all of the talk about Machado over the past several months has been focused on money and, sometimes, his alleged lack of hustle, the Padres are getting a player with a career line of .282/.335/.487 (121 OPS+), 175 career homers and a 33.8 career WAR in seven big league seasons. While he played shortstop last year and as a minor leaguer, his past and future is at third, where he is a superior defender. As for the hustle: it has almost exclusively been an obsession of the media, based on an ill-advised postgame quote in October. He has received no bad reviews from former teammates, all of whom speak highly of his game and his work ethic.

When the offseason began it appeared that the Phillies or the Yankees or, perhaps, the White Sox had the inside track on Machado. Everyone took a wait-and-see approach, reasonably believing that by waiting out Machado, a better deal could be struck. The risk of that approach, of course, is that it allowed the Padres to talk themselves into getting bold and, ultimately, swooping in to strike this deal.