Mets hire Omar Minaya as special assistant

Associated Press

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.