By ERIK BOLAND
Former Mets general manager Omar Minaya.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As the Yankees reorganize their baseball operations staff this offseason, a familiar name in New York is getting strong consideration for a high-ranking position with the team.
Several club sources said there has been serious dialogue about hiring former Mets general manager Omar Minaya, now a senior vice president of baseball operations with the Padres.
Minaya, who served as Mets GM from 2005-10, is close with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. It was not immediately clear in what capacity he would serve.
One position could be the one previously held by Mark Newman, who oversaw the Yankees’ farm system the past 15 seasons as the senior vice president of baseball operations before recently announcing his retirement. Gordon Blakeley, who served in a variety of pro scouting roles the last 21 years, most recently as an international cross-checker, left for a special adviser role with the Braves.
Minaya has been a senior VP for the Padres since December 2011. After general manager Josh Byrnes was fired on June 23, Minaya shared those duties with assistant GMs A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman until A.J. Preller was named GM on Aug. 7.
Minaya’s Mets tenure prompts strong opinions both ways, but he played a significant role in the drafting and signing of some of the young talent now maturing with the team.
It would not be unusual for Cashman, who recently signed a three-year extension to continue as Yankees senior vice president and general manager, to bring in a former GM. After Kevin Towers was fired as Padres GM in 2009, he became a special assignment scout for Cashman for the 2010 season. Towers was the Diamondbacks’ GM from 2011-14. More recently, Cashman brought aboard former Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who has been a special assignment scout for the Yankees since 2012 and has become a trusted adviser.
Former Royals manager Trey Hillman, whom Cashman brought back to the organization before last season as a special assistant in the Yankees’ minor and major-league operations, originally was thought to be the odds-on favorite to replace Newman. However, in the days after Newman announced his retirement, Hillman told confidants of his desire to return to the field in uniform. According to one report, he already has spoken to new Astros manager Hinch about being his bench coach. Joining Joe Girardi’s staff in some capacity also cannot be ruled out.