NEW YORK (AP) — 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 general managers' 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. Assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistant Omar Minaya remain with the team, at least for now.

All three attended this week's 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 1986-2001, including 12 years when Alderson was the club's general manager, and was general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09. He spent 2010 as a baseball analyst with ESPN.

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

Ricciardi got his start in professional baseball as an infielder with the 1980 Little Falls Mets. Playing second base and shortstop, the St. Leo College product outhit future Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, also making his pro debut as a first-round pick out of high school, .211-.210. All 27 of Ricciardi's New York-Penn League hits were singles, but he walked 21 times with only 19 strikeouts in 46 games in Little Falls, and he played the following season with Shelby in the South Atlantic League.

Senior sports editor Jon Rathbun contributed to this report.