Source: Mets to hire Minaya

Updated: September 29, 2004, 3:27 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets are revamping their front office for the second straight offseason, hiring Omar Minaya from the Montreal Expos to become the head of baseball operations.

Minaya, the Expos general manager for the past three seasons, was contacted earlier this week and told the Mets on Tuesday that he would leave the Expos to return to New York, a baseball official said on the condition he not be identified.

Mets owner Fred Wilpon declined comment when reached at his home Tuesday night.

Minaya had spoken with the Mets last offseason and was offered a job, but declined it when he was not offered full decision-making power. He now will be above general manager Jim Duquette in the hierarchy, although his formal title has not yet been determined, the baseball official said.

New York called a news conference for Thursday to make what the team said would be a "major announcement."

He was senior assistant general manager of the Mets under Steve Phillips before he was hired by the commissioner's office as general manager of the Expos in 2002. He is known for his emphasis on scouting and player development, and while with the Texas Rangers was responsible for the signing of Sammy Sosa.

Phillips was fired during the 2003 season and replaced by Duquette, who at first was given the job on an interim basis, then was given the full general manager title last Oct. 28.

The Mets, without a World Series title since 1986, flopped in the second half this year and head into the final four games of the season with a 70-88 record, fourth in the NL East, ahead of only the Expos.

New York has already told manager Art Howe that he is being fired at the end of the season, halfway through a $9.4 million, four-year contract.

Minaya's status with the Expos was uncertain. The team likely will be moved to Washington, D.C., next year, with an announcement possible as soon as Wednesday. The franchise, bought by the other 29 clubs before the 2002 season, likely will be sold during the offseason.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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