MLB: AZ Diamondbacks Have a New GM

The Arizona Diamondbacks continue to make changes in their front-office with the hiring of former player, coach and sports agent, Dave Stewart, 57. Stewart will be the team’s fourth general manager in franchise history. His official title is Senior Vice President and General Manager. His baseball history and experience includes championships on the field both as a player and as a coach. He has served as a pitching coach for the San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays. He was in the front office for both the Padres and Blue Jays and has been involved in contract negotiations as a player representative. Stewart most recently owned and operated “Sports Management Partners,” a sports agency he founded that represents current and former players and coaches. He recently turned that business over to his former teammate, Dave Henderson, when he was named a candidate in the Diamondbacks’ GM search.

Stewart was one of eight candidates who interviewed for the GM position after Kevin Towers was let go; when Tony La Russa, the Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer, decided to restructure the club’s staff. Stewart previously had a working relationship with Kevin Towers in San Diego and Towers is expected to remain in the organization as an advanced scout or some other capacity. Towers also said he would like the opportunity to work with Stewart if he was named GM.

The Diamondbacks also named LA Dodgers’ assistant GM, De Jon Watson, as a Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations. Watson brings 29 years of baseball experience, including serving as director of professional scouting for Cleveland and director of scouting for Cincinnati. He has also worked in the Marlins front office and was part of their 1997 World Series Championship team.

The first big decision for Stewart and Watson will be whether to keep manager Kirk Gibson and his staff. The Diamondbacks are currently 63-96 and in last place in the National League West, with the final three games of the season this weekend at home against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Diamondbacks will have to contend with the LA Dodgers and SF Giants every season. Both the Dodgers and the Giants will see postseason play this season and have no issues with spending money to remain contenders.

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