APNewsBreak: Person familiar with the decision: Omar Minaya to leave Padres and join union

Former New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya is leaving his job as senior vice president of the San Diego Padres to become a special adviser to Major League Baseball Players Association head Tony Clark, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the hiring had not been made public. The union was expected to announce the decision later in the day.

The 56-year-old Minaya was born in the Dominican Republic and started in baseball management as a scout for the Texas Rangers, where he helped sign Sammy Sosa.

He became the major leagues' first Hispanic general manager with the Montreal Expos from February 2002 until September 2004. He left the Expos to become GM of his hometown Mets, who fired him after the 2010 season. He was hired by the Padres in December 2011.

Minaya follows the path of Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who left his job as executive vice president/senior adviser of the Padres after a dozen years in December 2013 to become a special assistant to Clark. Minaya is reversing the path of former major leaguer Tony Bernazard, who was a special assistant for the union from 1992 until he left to work the Minaya and the Mets from 2004-09.