Steve Gilbert, MLB.COM
PHOENIX (MLB.com)—Dave Stewart officially became the D-backs’ fourth full-time general manager Thursday, while De Jon Watson was hired for a key role in the baseball operations department.
Both men will report to chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, with Stewart holding the title of senior vice president and general manager, and Watson as senior vice president of baseball operations.
Given the dual hire, it appears Stewart’s focus will be on the Major League roster and contract negotiations, while Watson will focus on player development and scouting, areas he had been involved with in his previous role as assistant general manager of the Dodgers.
“I am excited to be able to bring in two talented and uniquely qualified individuals as part of our front-office leadership team that I feel will improve our organization,” La Russa said in a statement. “Our various strengths blend well with more than a century of experience in different areas of the game, and we will work together to get this team moving in the right direction.”
The pair will be introduced to the media in a news conference scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Stewart becomes just the fourth current general manager to have played in the Major Leagues, joining the Angels’ Jerry Dipoto, the Phillies’ Ruben Amaro Jr. and the A’s Billy Beane. He is the only current GM to have played and coached in the big leagues. Stewart is the only African-American general manager in baseball at this time. Two African-Americans oversee baseball operations for their clubs: Kenny Williams, White Sox, and Michael Hill, Marlins.