Change is afoot in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks have already parted ways with GM Dave Stewart, VP DeJon Watson, and manager Chip Hale. Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, who oversaw all of the baseball operations department, will no longer carry that mantle moving forward.
Assistant GM Bryan Minniti will seemingly take the reins on an interim basis, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports, though he has not been given any official nod — even temporarily — as of yet. Though his own role remains unsettled, La Russa may also be involved in handling the early offseason decisionmaking while the front office search ramps up.
Minniti, who joined the Arizona front office after a stint with the Nationals, is also likely to receive consideration for the full-time job, per the report. (He has long been considered a potential GM, as former MLBTR scribe Ben Nicholson-Smith explored way back in 2011.) Likewise, farm director Mike Bell may be viewed as a candidate as the D-Backs’ upper management group assesses its options.
In terms of external possibilities, we haven’t heard any names as of yet, and the organization has suggested it intends to remain quiet on the matter. But many around the game are wondering whether the Diamondbacks will struggle to attract some candidates owing to their frequent front office turnover and recent turmoil, as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
While various executives with rival teams gave Piecoro different indications about how big a concern they’d have with joining the Arizona organization, some were clear that its reputation is not strong. One unnamed exec who has been considered as a GM target told Piecoro that, while running the D-Backs’ baseball ops would hold “surface” appeal, “from everything I hear about some of the dysfunction up there, to be quite candid, I would have zero interest.” Another wondered whether the club would need to give out a lengthy guarantee to entice a quality candidate to “mov[e] your family for that level of insecurity, juxtaposed to the security that some of us have” in current positions with rival teams.