J.P. Ricciardi leaving Mets after eight seasons

NEW YORK -- J.P. Ricciardi is leaving the New York Mets after eight seasons.

The Mets announced his decision Friday, a day after the end of the annual GM meetings and 11 days after hiring Brodie Van Wagenen to succeed Sandy Alderson as general manager.

Ricciardi was hired as a special assistant to Alderson in November 2010 and had been part of the trio running the team's baseball operations after Alderson took a leave in July following a recurrence of cancer.

"The Mets are grateful for all J.P. has brought to the team over the last eight seasons and we wish him all the best going forward," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "He was and will continue to be a friend. J.P. was instrumental in identifying and bringing talent to the Mets that helped develop our growth throughout the entire system and stepped up to play an even larger role when we needed him over the time Sandy had to step away."

Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistant Omar Minaya remain with the team, at least for now.

"Helping the Wilpon family towards their goal of making the Mets a successful franchise year in and year out was an honor," Ricciardi said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to my next chapter and will continue to wish Brodie and the rest of the organization success."

All three attended the GM meetings along with Van Wagenen, who had been a player agent before joining the Mets.

The 59-year-old Ricciardi worked for the Oakland Athletics from 1986 to 2001, including 12 years when Alderson was the club's general manager, and was general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 to 2009. He spent 2010 as a baseball analyst with ESPN.

New York said he is free to take a job with other teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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