Acta adds duties as VP in Dominican League

Mariners third-base coach preparing for potential front-office position

Acta adds duties as VP in Dominican League

SEATTLE -- Mariners third-base coach Manny Acta loves being involved with the action on the field, but the former big league manager wants to expand his options in the game, which is why the 47-year-old will now also be working in duties as the vice president of baseball operations for the Aguilas Cibaenas club in the Dominican Winter League.

After being dismissed as Indians manager late in the 2012 season, Acta worked the past three years as general manager of Licey in the Dominican Winter League and now will take a higher front-office position with Aguilas in conjunction with current GM Ramon Pena.

The position means Acta will keep an eye on young Dominican prospects in the Majors and Minors during the season, help get things organized off the field and then be prepared to help put it all together when the Dominican season opens in mid-October.

Taking on extra duties in addition to his Mariners chores doesn't faze the Dominican native in the least.

"I don't have any kids at home anymore," Acta said. "It's just me and my wife. Baseball is what I like to do and over the last three years, when I wasn't working here in MLB, I wanted to find a way to feel the ecstasy of a victory and the agony of losing a game because working on TV [with ESPN and ESPN Deportes] wasn't giving me that.

"I decided to go over there and expand myself in the game of baseball so people will not only see me as a guy who can work on the field, but also down the road maybe help somebody out in the front office, if that's the case."

Acta's first preference is to stay in coaching or managing, however. He doesn't see a front-office position in MLB at this point, anyway.

"I hope not, but I'm preparing myself for it," he said. "I like being on the field. Being on the field is my passion. I like teaching, I like preparing to compete. But I want to prepare myself because I want to be seen like I can do something else besides coach third, manage, hit fungos and throw batting practice."

And, yes, his past work for Licey and new role for Aguilas have helped give Acta an appreciation for what Jerry Dipoto and other GMs do.

"Those last three years working as a GM back home have been invaluable to me, but also trying in a way," he said. "I've talked to Jerry and [Indians president] Chris Antonetti the other day in Cleveland. And it's like man, now I've got a little taste of what you guys do.

"It gave me the opportunity to not only put front office and coaching staffs together, but also the negotiation aspect with players and agents, trying to put a club together and doing what baseball is all about, which is dealing with people. That's what I look at the challenge as. It's not the easiest situation, but it's going to help me know how to deal with people, build relationships and build a baseball team."

Acta said this coming season in the Dominican League will be even more competitive as many Major League players, who will be preparing for the World Baseball Classic, will join teams later in the winter to get in shape for the WBC.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.