John Paul (J. P.) Ricciardi (born September 26, 1959 in Worcester, Massachusetts) is a Major League Baseball executive who currently is a special assistant to New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. Ricciardi has previously served as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from November 14, 2001 to October 3, 2009.
Ricciardi went to and played baseball for St. Peter's/St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester, and then played for the Saint Leo University Lions from 1979 through 1980. He then spent two years as an infielder in the New York Mets minor league system, playing for the Mets' A-class league affiliates in Little Falls in 1980 and Shelby in 1981. He finished his playing career with a batting average below .200.
After the conclusion of his playing career, Ricciardi became a coach in the New York Yankees farm system in the early 1980s before joining the Oakland Athletics organization in 1986 as a minor league instructor and scout. By the early 1990s he had risen to the rank of East Coast Scouting Supervisor and later National Crosschecker. Ricciardi made his break into the front office in 1996, when he became special assistant to Athletics general manager Sandy Alderson. Under new general manager Billy Beane, who was hired in 1997 and had been Ricciardi's former teammate with the Little Falls Mets, his role became Director of Player Personnel.