The Arizona Diamondbacks overhaul has officially begun.
One day after adding two members to the organization, two familiar names were relieved of their duties.
The club announced manager Kirk Gibson and bench coach Alan Trammell were both let go Friday afternoon. In an odd twist of fate, Trammell will manage the team this weekend as they wrap up the regular season, hosting a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The #Dbacks will immediately begin the search for a new manager.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) September 26, 2014
Tony La Russa knew he had plenty of work to do when he took over as the Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer back in May.
Now he has some help.
Thursday afternoon the D-backs made it official naming Dave Stewart new Vice President and General Manager and De Jon Watson Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations. It’s the latest set of moves by an organization in an attempt to establish an identity and find stability after missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season this summer.
“I’ve known Stew for nearly three decades and his diverse background includes championships on the field as both a player and coach, in the front office and in contract negotiation as a player representative,” La Russa said through the organization on Thursday. “De Jon has great strengths in player development and scouting on the amateur, professional and international levels and has played a significant role in the careers of some of the game’s best players.”
Stewart had been linked to the GM vacancy for the past couple weeks. He takes over for Kevin Towers who will remain with organization and was in attendance Friday afternoon when both Stewart and Watson were introduced.
“The thing that I’ve learned about winning is that everybody needs to be going in the same direction,” Stewart told a packed interview room inside Chase Field. “It starts with ownership and it works its way down to our clubhouse.”
Watson has spent the last eight seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and has close to three decades of Major League Baseball experience. He most recently served as the Dodgers Vice President of Player Development and helped mentor young stars like Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.
“I’m really excited about working with the quality people that are here,” a smiling Watson said. “Trying to enhance the overall process of how we do things and building out a championship-caliber organization.”