Nationals assistant GM and international scouting director Johnny DiPuglia has resigned from his position, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. DiPuglia had run the club’s international scouting operations since 2009, and was promoted to assistant GM and a VP role in the wake of the Nats’ World Series title in 2019.
Neither DiPuglia or the team publicly commented on the news, though Dougherty notes that “DiPuglia was one of [GM Mike] Rizzo’s closest confidants in the organization.” It isn’t known if DiPuglia’s status might be related to Rizzo’s own ongoing negotiations about a contract extension, though reports from a couple of weeks ago suggested that Rizzo and the Nationals were pretty close to a new agreement.
DiPuglia’s departure could also be part of Rizzo’s ongoing efforts to overhaul the player development staff which began in earnest during the 2021-22 offseason. While the 2019 championship was the peak of a successful decade for the franchise, the fall has been precipitous, as Washington is on pace for its fourth consecutive losing season. The rebuild has been apparent with the on-field product, and Rizzo has also been taking measures to improve how the Nationals operate behind the scenes, particularly in the scouting and development of its young prospects. To this end, the international scouting division has also faced difficulties in recent years, as Dougherty notes that the Nats haven’t gotten a lot of great returns from recent int’l signings.
It may be that DiPuglia’s resignation prior to the end of the season gives him more time to seek out his next job, and he’ll hit the open market with a strong resume. As Dougherty put it, DiPuglia “had to basically start from scratch” in reviving the Nats’ international department in 2009, and he “has often been credited with rebuilding the Nationals’ Latin American presence from the ashes.” The signing of Juan Soto was the crown jewel of DiPuglia’s era, as Soto’s immediate rise to superstar status was a huge reason for Washington’s breakthrough title in 2019. Before coming to the Nationals, DiPuglia’s work as the Red Sox scouting director for Latin America produced such notable players as Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez, and Anibal Sanchez.