The Arizona Diamondbacks have found their replacement for Kevin Towers, hiring Dave Stewart as senior vice president and GM.
And that’s not all, as the team also brought on De Jon Watson to be senior vice president, baseball operations.
Both will report to chief baseball officer Tony La Russa.
“I am excited to be able to bring in two talented and uniquely qualified individuals as part of our front office leadership team that I feel will improve our organization,” La Russa said in a press release. “Our various strengths blend well with more than a century of experience in different areas of the game and we will work together to get this team moving in the right direction.
“I’ve known Stew for nearly three decades and his diverse background includes championships on the field as both a player and coach, in the front office and in contract negotiation as a player representative. De Jon has great strengths in player development and scouting on the amateur, professional and international levels and has played a significant role in the careers of some of the game’s best players.”
Stewart’s name had been linked to the D-backs almost from the moment Towers was removed as GM.
Stewart and Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa have a relationship that dates back to when the former was pitching for the Oakland A’s while La Russa was serving as manager. A 20-game winner four times, Stewart finished in the top four of AL Cy Young Award voting four times. He was also part of World Series winning teams, earning titles with the Los Angeles Dodgers, A’s and Toronto Blue Jays.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy success as a player and coach and really enjoyed my time representing players, but this is the perfect challenge for me,” Stewart said in the release. “To try and put together the pieces of a championship team is something I can’t wait to begin and I could not be more excited about doing it with De Jon and alongside a Hall of Famer who I respect greatly in Tony.”
Recently, Stewart has been a player agent, but has also been a coach as well as an assistant general manager with the Toronto Blue Jays.
In Watson, the D-backs are adding someone who just completed his eighth season in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and 29th in baseball. Most recently he was the vice president of player development, where he was tasked with developing and evaluating all players in the Dodgers’ minor league system along with appointing all minor league managers and coaching staffs.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of a very special team that Tony has put together,” said Watson. “I could not pass up the chance to be part of a dynamic working group and impact this organization in a way that helps us improve the way we compete, with a goal of playing October baseball.”