Just days after letting general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale go, the Arizona Diamondbacks are set to begin their search for a new general manager, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.
Names of targets have been reported, by Boston Globe national baseball writer Nick Cafardo.
Source: Bryan Minniti, Mike Bell, Ray Montgomery, Peter Woodfork and Kim Ng are all in the running for D’Backs GM job.
— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) October 6, 2016
Three of the four names mentioned by Cafardo have experience in the Diamondbacks organization. Minniti is Arizona’s current assistant general manager, joining the club in 2015. Bell is the team’s current director of player personnel.
Woodfork, senior vice president for baseball operations for MLB, spent five years as the assistant general manager for the D-backs. He currently oversees umpiring and instant replay among other operational duties.
Ng is also a senior vice president for baseball operations at MLB headquarters, and is widely considered the favorite to become the first female GM in Major League history. She served as an assistant GM for the Los Angeles Dodgers before going to work in the league office.
On Monday, the Diamondbacks announced the firings of Stewart and Hale following a disappointing season which began with high expectations after the signing of free agent pitcher Zack Greinke and trading for Shelby Miller. However, those expectations were never met as the Diamondbacks struggled throughout the season to finish 69-93 — missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year.
At the time it was unclear the future for the team’s chief baseball officer Tony La Russa. The Diamondbacks said they were evaluating La Russa’s role.
That role became a little more clear on Tuesday when Gambadoro reported that La Russa had been offered an “advisory role” with the team and that he is expected to make a decision in the coming days. However, the new role would come with La Russa being more of an adviser than a decision maker.
Whoever the new general manager is, they will have some tough decisions to make for a team that has had just two playoff appearances in the last 10 years, and are in the middle of a five-year stretch in which the team has not been above .500, the longest such in franchise history.