Diamondbacks Fire Josh Byrnes And A.J. Hinch

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Arizona has fired general manager and executive vice-president Josh Byrnes, as well as manager A.J. Hinch.  Jerry DiPoto, the team's vice-president of player personnel, will be the interim general manager while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com tweets that bench coach Kirk Gibson has been promoted to manager. 

Byrnes was hired by Arizona in October 2005, and the team recorded a 349-378 mark under his stewardship.  Following the club's 2007 NLCS appearance, Byrnes signed an eight-year contract extension that would've kept him in the desert through 2015.  According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, that extension included a small ownership stake in the Diamondbacks.  ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter) predicts that the highly-respected Byrnes will be out of work for "0.2 seconds" since another team will hire him as a consultant while the Snakes pay out his existing contract.  

Hired on May 8, 2009 to replace Bob Melvin, Hinch amassed an 89-123 record with the D'Backs in his first stint as a major league manager.  We heard a few weeks ago that Byrnes was "fighting hard" to save Hinch's job, and Fanhouse.com's Ed Price reports (via Twitter) that Byrnes was fired for refusing a demand from upper management to make a managerial change.

Conor Jackson's trade to Oakland was the first of many moves expected from the underachieving Snakes, though the team stopped short of saying that an outright fire sale would take place.  It remains to be seen if this perspective will change with DiPoto now running the team.  The club will definitely pay a price for the firings — Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the D'Backs owe more than $7MM to cover Byrnes' deal and Hinch's contract, which ran through 2012.

Gibson, best known for his walkoff homer in Game One of the 1988 World Series, has been Arizona's bench coach since 2007.  He previously served as a bench coach and hitting coach for the Tigers, though this is Gibson's first time managing on any level.  DiPoto, also a former player, has been a member of the Arizona organization for four seasons, and previously worked as Colorado's director of player personnel and as a scout with Boston.

Rumors are already flying about who the Diamondbacks might hire as their next full-time general manager.  Morosi's story notes that Dodgers assistant GM Logan White and former Padres GM Kevin Towers will be given "serious consideration" for the job.  Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio has those two plus three other assistant GMs (Kim Ng of the Dodgers, Ben Cherington of the Red Sox and "Avila," who is presumably Al Avila of the Tigers) on a top-five list collected from a variety of sources.  As for DiPoto, Morosi tweets that a D'Backs official made "no commitment to the duration" of DiPoto's reign as GM, so it appears as if his assignment truly is on an interim basis.


73 Responses to Diamondbacks Fire Josh Byrnes And A.J. Hinch Leave a Reply

  1. caseyo4 5 years ago

    Kirk Gibson getting his shot? I’ve always thought he’d be a good manager…

  2. invader3k 5 years ago

    Not that surprising.

  3. A manager can only manage so well with no pitching.

  4. RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

    Every 1 saw it coming…Not a surprise.

  5. Eric Byrnes—from beer league star to GM? 😉 (Josh Byrnes is the AZ GM XD )

  6. Andrew Rabin 5 years ago

    Surprised no comments yet- Josh Byrnes is (was?) the GM. Eric Byrnes is just a mistake he made.

    • BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

      False. Byrnes did NOT want to sign Eric to that contract. Management forced him to.

  7. Definitely Hinch’s fault that Webb didn’t return to health. Yup.

  8. Joshua Ryan 5 years ago

    Josh Byrnes is fired, but Ned Coletti and Brian Sabean still have jobs. Fate is very cruel…

    • Wainwrights_Curveball 5 years ago

      Sabean is very lucky he has scouts that can find good pitchers, otherwise his @$$ would have been out the door already after just one year of giving Barry Zito that albatross contract.

      • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

        what is sad, you replace ‘scouts’ with ‘Logan White’, ‘good pitchers’ with ‘multiple good, young guys’ and ‘Barry Zito’ with ‘Andruw Jones/Juan Pierre/ Jason Schmidt’, and you are describing Ned Colletti!

      • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

        what is sad, you replace ‘scouts’ with ‘Logan White’, ‘good pitchers’ with ‘multiple good, young guys’ and ‘Barry Zito’ with ‘Andruw Jones/Juan Pierre/ Jason Schmidt’, and you are describing Ned Colletti!

    • BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

      Considering how he’s above and beyond better than the other two, ’tis a shame.

  9. dbacknation 5 years ago

    Well, stinks, cuz its not entirely his fault, as the bullpen is the worst in the history of the majors. But to be honest, he wasn’t cut out to be a skipper. He has NO managerial experience, at ANY level of baseball. He was like the scouting director or something. So Josh Byrnes’ decision for ‘organizational advocacy’ seemed to fail. JB is probably next to go.

    Now, i’d LOVE to see the Dbacks make a bold move, and impress fans like myself, with hiring somebody like Terry Pendleton (Braves) or Jose Oquendo (Cardinals) to take over. Both must have gained a PLETHORA of knowledge and winning attitude under the likes of Cox and LaRussa, respectively.

    Or at the very least, a hard-nosed coach/ex-manager, who takes a ‘no-bull’ approach, not just shrugs his shoulders. And preferably, somebody outside the organization for a change. As much as I like Gonzo, Matt Williams, Mark Grace, etc… i’d prefer an external option at this point.

    • tomymogo 5 years ago

      Kirk Gibson deseves a shot

    • Wainwrights_Curveball 5 years ago

      I don’t think you would be able to get Oquendo. He’s the future Cards skipper. It isn’t a question of if, it is more a question of when.

  10. dbacknation 5 years ago

    Whoa! Just read that Josh Byrnes, the GM, has been axed as well. THANK GOD!
    I can only count a handful of trades he made, that made sense.

    I liked the Sam Demel for Co-Jack.
    I liked the Ejax & Kennedy for Scherzer & Schlereth.

    I liked the Haren deal, but felt we gave up entirely too much at the time, which in turn, emptied our entire farm system at the time.

    Qualls & Burke for Valverde, at the time, made sense, as jose was due a HUGE raise, and qualls showed SOME promise last year, but this year? he’s a joke and i think i could hit better than chris burke.

    The adam dunn rental was foolish. and many many more moves he made, that ended up ruining our franchise.

    • Wainwrights_Curveball 5 years ago

      The Haren deal is starting to look like a pretty good deal for both sides. Meanwhile, Oakland got fleeced in the Matt Holliday deal after trading away Carlos Gonzalez (who I believe was originally part of the Haren deal). They gave up on him way too soon, lol.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Josh Byrnes ruined your franchise? lollin

    • jdub220 5 years ago

      Josh Byrnes is not the problem.

      He’s made some great moves like Allen for a reliever who can’t get lefties out, Tony Abreu for one month of Jon Garland Qualls/Gutierrez for Valverde (Qualls actually outperformed Valverde up until this year, but it’s irrelevant becuase he isn’t even with the Astros anymore), Callaspo for Jason Bulger, Hudson for Glaus, Chris Young for Javy Vasquez (who demanded a trade), Rauch for Bonafacio, a good version of Heilman for nothing, and Chris Carter for Carlos Quentin (who, after one good season, forgot how to play baseball). The only bad trades that I can think of are Rauch for Mulvey and Hairston for Rosales (not that Rosales isn’t a good reliever, though) and he’s had one bad signing: Howry. He’s signed Johnson, Felipe and Rodrigo Lopez, LaRoche,

      You just can’t overcome one of the best pitchers in the game getting injured, your most consistent hitter catching Valley Fever and forgetting how to hit, your best reliever forgetting how to pitch, and your newly extended stud center fielder catching Eric Byrnes syndrome (AKA: Popup-itis). Not when you’re weighed down by deferred contracts, Moorad’s spending for Byrnes, Joe Jr.’s spending for Russ Ortiz, and what has basically turned into a 60MM budget.

      And now the team is most likely blown up, when really, the only thing holding the team back was the historically awful bullpen. It’s unfortunate.

      • jdub220 5 years ago

        However, he brought the firing on himself. He apparently fought too hard for Hinch’s job.

      • jdub220 5 years ago

        However, he brought the firing on himself. He apparently fought too hard for Hinch’s job.

    • jdub220 5 years ago

      Josh Byrnes is not the problem.

      He’s made some great moves like Allen for a reliever who can’t get lefties out, Tony Abreu for one month of Jon Garland Qualls/Gutierrez for Valverde (Qualls actually outperformed Valverde up until this year, but it’s irrelevant becuase he isn’t even with the Astros anymore), Callaspo for Jason Bulger, Hudson for Glaus, Chris Young for Javy Vasquez (who demanded a trade), Rauch for Bonafacio, a good version of Heilman for nothing, and Chris Carter for Carlos Quentin (who, after one good season, forgot how to play baseball). The only bad trades that I can think of are Rauch for Mulvey and Hairston for Rosales (not that Rosales isn’t a good reliever, though) and he’s had one bad signing: Howry. He’s signed Johnson, Felipe and Rodrigo Lopez, LaRoche,

      You just can’t overcome one of the best pitchers in the game getting injured, your most consistent hitter catching Valley Fever and forgetting how to hit, your best reliever forgetting how to pitch, and your newly extended stud center fielder catching Eric Byrnes syndrome (AKA: Popup-itis). Not when you’re weighed down by deferred contracts, Moorad’s spending for Byrnes, Joe Jr.’s spending for Russ Ortiz, and what has basically turned into a 60MM budget.

      And now the team is most likely blown up, when really, the only thing holding the team back was the historically awful bullpen. It’s unfortunate.

  11. qudjy1 5 years ago

    This is pretty terrible news. AJ is one thing. Josh Byrnes is another.

  12. tomymogo 5 years ago

    They’ll need to trade Adam Laroche, Dan Haren, and Brandon Webb(if he gets back) for some quality arms. Call up Brandon Allen, and put Mark Reynolds on the DL so his wrist heals.

    • sacu 5 years ago

      I love how Haren is having ONE bad year and he is no longer considered a quality arm. Who’s to say he doesn’t turn it around in the second half?

      • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

        Haren tends to be a half season pitcher. It’s interesting to see fantasy owners bail on him while he’s hot….trying to get out while the getting is good. His overall numbers seem to look decent, but he seems to be like 1.50 ERA int he firsthalf and 4.75 ERA in the second.

      • Red_Line_9 5 years ago

        Haren tends to be a half season pitcher. It’s interesting to see fantasy owners bail on him while he’s hot….trying to get out while the getting is good. His overall numbers seem to look decent, but he seems to be like 1.50 ERA int he firsthalf and 4.75 ERA in the second.

      • jdub220 5 years ago

        No one said that.

        • sacu 5 years ago

          Really? Well then how’d you interpret “They’ll need to trade Adam Laroche, Dan Haren, and Brandon Webb(if he gets back) for some quality arms.”

          Maybe you ought to read tomymogo’s comment one more time.

        • sacu 5 years ago

          Really? Well then how’d you interpret “They’ll need to trade Adam Laroche, Dan Haren, and Brandon Webb(if he gets back) for some quality arms.”

          Maybe you ought to read tomymogo’s comment one more time.

          • jdub220 5 years ago

            Nope, I read it just fine.
            He said that those players could net quality arms.
            Why would a team trade quality arms for Haren, if Haren himself was not a quality arm?
            I think you should read it one more time.

          • sacu 5 years ago

            Well I’m not gonna argue with you on what the OP said or meant to type cause neither you or I are the OP. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          • jdub220 5 years ago

            Nope, I read it just fine.
            He said that those players could net quality arms.
            Why would a team trade quality arms for Haren, if Haren himself was not a quality arm?
            I think you should read it one more time.

      • jdub220 5 years ago

        No one said that.

  13. tomymogo 5 years ago

    Haren was acquired for Carlos Gonzalez and five other prospects who haven’t done anything. But at the time it needed to be done.

    • Didn’t they trade Brett Anderson too?

      • tomymogo 5 years ago

        yes

      • BLZR 5 years ago

        Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Carter (the good one). Some people still like Aaron Cunningham. Dana Eveland and Greg Smith don’t look particularly good, but that’s a pretty nice haul.

  14. bbxxj 5 years ago

    I would love to see what kind of haul the D-Backs could get if the new GM just tore down the team and traded away Haren, Drew, Johnson, Young, Jackson, LaRoche and Snyder. I know that is the entire heart of the team minus Upton, Montero and Reynolds but that kind of summer would allow the new GM to competely (and painfully) rebuild the team in his philosophy.

  15. kevinhua 5 years ago

    its terrible to see these guys both go bc its not really there fault. but it this day in age teams need to win and need to win fast.

    • jphenix2002 5 years ago

      I agree it isn’t entirely their fault, but I’m not sold on AJ Hinch as a manager. 34 games under .500 in little more than a full season is due to more than just a bad bullpen. Those players weren’t responding to Hinch.

      JB was only fired because he refused to fire AJ, which is his own fault/choice. I gotta give him props for standing up for what he believes in.

    • jphenix2002 5 years ago

      I agree it isn’t entirely their fault, but I’m not sold on AJ Hinch as a manager. 34 games under .500 in little more than a full season is due to more than just a bad bullpen. Those players weren’t responding to Hinch.

      JB was only fired because he refused to fire AJ, which is his own fault/choice. I gotta give him props for standing up for what he believes in.

  16. its been well over 0.2 seconds and he hasn’t been employed yet by another team

    buster olney and his terrible as always predictions

    • dickylarue 5 years ago

      Buster’s just got his panties in a bunch that he lost a source and an ex Red Sox front office guy got fired. Those things don’t compute at ESPN.

    • dickylarue 5 years ago

      Buster’s just got his panties in a bunch that he lost a source and an ex Red Sox front office guy got fired. Those things don’t compute at ESPN.

  17. Cubs – time to fire Hendry and sign Byrnes..please!!

  18. humbb 5 years ago

    Wow – when was the last time a MLB GM was fired mid-season? I think it’s really rare.

    Edit – Bill Bavasi (M’s – 2008); any others?

  19. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Best available GM? Towers maybe? Or do they go the other route and hire a really good farm director off of another team?

  20. kissmyblankenship 5 years ago

    I think that they will end up saying goodbye to at least 5 players this month. Most likely… E.Jackson, C.Snyder, K.Johnson, A.Laroche and C.Young. I think they could get worth while prospects back with lots of salary relief.

  21. Good to see Gibby get a chance to manage. Tough job in Arizona at the moment, though.
    So who will step in and release Willis, and trade Haren or Jackson?

  22. sacu 5 years ago

    “According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, that extension included a small ownership stake in the D’Backs.”

    Are you listening Billy Beane? Apparently being a minority owner does not guarantee job security.

  23. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Really rash decision on Byrnes. He’s welcome back in Boston.

    Edit: As an 8-position utility man, I mean…

  24. ReverendBlack 5 years ago

    Really rash decision on Byrnes. He’s welcome back in Boston.

    Edit: As an 8-position utility man, I mean…

  25. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    The big changes they were talking about-is this the big change? They’ve named an interim GM-do they really want to do a tear down and rebuild BEFORE the new GM comes in?

    I would guess that’s what they are going to do. Let the fans be angry at the other guy. The new hire comes in with a clean slate.

  26. 55saveslives 5 years ago

    Too bad Giants organization doesn’t have the balls to do this!

  27. 55saveslives 5 years ago

    Too bad Giants organization doesn’t have the balls to do this!

  28. icedrake523 5 years ago

    I wonder if the Mets will offer Byrnes a position somewhere in the organization because he and Minaya made quite a few trades together.

  29. icedrake523 5 years ago

    I wonder if the Mets will offer Byrnes a position somewhere in the organization because he and Minaya made quite a few trades together.

  30. damnitsderek 5 years ago

    D’oh!

  31. damnitsderek 5 years ago

    D’oh!

  32. I’d like to see if the team plays better under Gibson before a fire sale.

    I’m not a big believer in a manager’s impact on the game, but, it seemed to work for the Rockies.

  33. I’d like to see if the team plays better under Gibson before a fire sale.

    I’m not a big believer in a manager’s impact on the game, but, it seemed to work for the Rockies.

  34. Mdey 5 years ago

    An out of the box thought, Maybe a major league team hires Kim Ng as GM.

  35. Mdey 5 years ago

    An out of the box thought, Maybe a major league team hires Kim Ng as GM.

  36. Chiburgh 5 years ago

    If only the Cubs would follow this example.

  37. Chiburgh 5 years ago

    If only the Cubs would follow this example.

  38. Baseballislife21 5 years ago

    This is good for the D-Backs just step 1 of a much needed rebuilding phase. The Haren aquissition from Oakland made no sense and i’m not sure why they brought Webb back.

  39. coolstorybro222 5 years ago

    Wow. They just put themselves in the running for Bobby valentine. /sarcasm

  40. LSekhmet 5 years ago

    I don’t really understand why the GM was fired here, but I also don’t understand why Kim Ng isn’t automatically on the top of the list as the next best available GM/prospect. She’s the highest-ranking woman in professional baseball, and she knows her stuff. Someone should give her a shot at being GM.As for this two-fer firing . . . still can’t really wrap my mind around it, as I’m a Brewers fan and we still have Ken Macha and Doug Melvin here, when arguably they’ve done just as poor a job this year and last. (Macha still having a job puzzles many people in WI, and probably elsewhere. No, the Brewers’ problems aren’t all Macha’s fault, but with a different manager the Brewers almost assuredly will play better. Kick Macha upstairs, Melvin — Macha knows baseball and would be a fine scout or special assistant to the GM — or watch this happen to you in a few days’ time.

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