Minaya, 59, who was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in Queens, spent the past three years working as a senior adviser in the players’ union. But a significant part of his career was spent with the Mets.
Hired by the team in 1997, he eventually became an assistant general manager and oversaw the team’s international scouting department. He left to become baseball’s first Latino general manager, taking over the Montreal Expos in 2002, at a time when Major League Baseball was running the team.
Minaya worked hard to keep the Expos competitive, even though it was clear their future lay elsewhere, and the Expos indeed relocated to Washington for the 2005 season.
At that point, Minaya relocated, too, back to New York, where he was made the general manager of a Mets team that had staggered to a 71-91 record in 2004.
With the support of the Mets’ ownership, he aggressively went about overhauling the club, quickly signing Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran to big free-agent contracts. The Mets posted a winning season in 2005 and, with Carlos Delgado then added to the middle of the lineup the next off-season, they fell just short of making the World Series in 2006.
Then came two straight September collapses by the Mets, which kept them out of the postseason. After that, there were two straight losing seasons, along with mounting criticism that the Mets’ farm system was in disarray.
As soon as the 2010 season ended, Minaya was let go. He then went to work as a vice president in the San Diego Padres’ front office before joining the players’ union. And now he is back with the Mets.
He returns as the beneficiary of subsequent events that cast a more positive light on his tenure in New York. Young players he signed — Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz — went on to become impactful players after the Mets dismissed him in 2010, and they all played a role in the Mets’ run to the World Series in 2015.
When Minaya took over as general manager in 2005, the Mets were coming off a demoralizing 71-91 season. Last year, they were even worse, finishing with a 70-92 mark.
So it will all seem very familiar to Minaya as he again begins to work in the team’s front office. The question is whether he can in any way help Alderson stage the quick turnaround that he himself pulled off over a decade ago.