Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe–Hiring Omar Minaya Could Benefit Yankees

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Recent reports indicate that the Yankees are interested in hiring former Mets and Expos General Manager Omar Minaya. Minaya left New York in disgrace 4 years ago after the Mets completed consecutive disappointing seasons and were loaded down with bad contracts. Despite his rocky tenure in Queens, he is still widely respected in the game even if he had been radioactive in some circles.  He has spent the past few season in the San Diego Padres organization.

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It will be interesting to see what kind of position Minaya takes should he officially join the Yankees front office. Brian Cashman is firmly entrenched as the General Manager with a new the contact. The Yankees have already stated that Minaya is not being considered to replace the retiring Mark Neman as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations.  Assuming that Billy Eppler does not leave to become GM of another team, he will also remain as Cashman’s second in command.

The Yankees and Cashman are not strangers to having former GMs on the payroll and to work closely with them without letting any professional jealousy or competition get in the way of getting the job done.  Former Padres, and more recently former Diamondbacks, GM Kevin Towers was a Special Assistant to Cashman for the 2010 season.  In addition, former Cubs GM Jim Hendry has worked in the Bomber organization since 2012.

Mandatory Credit: Chad R. MacDonald.

Minaya was known for making the big splash when he was GM.  He was a win now GM, who managed with a “damn the torpedoes” mentality often mortgaging the future for the hope of instant gratification. He was on the wrong end of one of the most lopsided trades in the last quarter century when, as GM of the expos he traded Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Phillips to the Indians in exchange for Bartolo Colon.  In his time as Mets GM, he also made several bad free agent signings including giving Jason Bay a four year $66 million deal.  Some other free agent disasters included giving a 47 year old Julio Franco a two year deal, signing Guillermo Mota to a two year deal after his 50 game PED suspension, and thinking that Luis Castillo should get $25 million over four years.

The good news for the Yankees is that Minaya will likely have limited input when it comes to free agents.  He is likely to go into a scouting and development role, which is an area in which the Yankees have had issues the last few years.  For all his failures with player acquittals via trades and free agents, Minaya put together terrific farm systems in Montreal and New York.  Many of the up and coming Mets who are starting to contribute for them were drafted and/or developed by the Minaya administration such as Matt Harvey, Daniel Murphy and Jacob deGroom.

Minaya might be able to help the Cashman and the Yankees if he can work with Cashman and the rest of the established front office.  One of the reasons he is flirting with a return to NYC is that the Padres are in the midst of a major overall of their front office and Minaya seems to have been marginalized.  But Minaya has experience and could be a valuable asset to the Yankee organization.San Diego’s loss could be New York’s gain.