Former Marlins GM (and, most recently, manager) Dan Jennings has officially joined the Nationals organization as a special assistant to GM Mike Rizzo, according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson (via Twitter) and Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) first reported that Jennings was likely to head to D.C.
The veteran baseball man had been a front office free agent since formally parting ways with Miami in late October. Jennings took a rare career path in the Marlins organization, which he had been with since 2002 after a long run on the scouting side. After starting out as VP of player personnel and then becoming an assistant GM, Jennings eventually took on the role of general manager after prior GM Michael Hill was promoted to become the team’s president of baseball operations.
But the real twist came early last year, when Jennings moved into the dugout after Mike Redmond’s firing. The Marlins reportedly had decided to move on to another skipper after the season, but it seemed at one point that Jennings would return to the front office to finish out the terms of his contract with the organization, which ran through 2018. Miami will still be responsible for at least some of the $5.6MM remaining on that deal.
According to the team’s announcement, Jennings will “focus on all facets of the Nationals’ scouting operations.” Given the high regard in which he’s held around the game, it seems likely that he’ll have a strong voice with Rizzo. Jennings will obviously be competing directly against his former club in the National League East, which only adds to the intrigue surrounding his departure.