The Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday hired former pitcher and current agent Dave Stewart to be their general manager. His official title will be Senior Vice President and General Manager. The Dodgers' De Jon Watson, is set to join Stewart in Arizona as Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations. Stewart and Watson will report to Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa.
The Diamondbacks picked Stewart over nine candidates, says Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, though one of the other finalists, Dodgers vice president and head of player development. Watson has a great deal of front-office experience, having been in baseball for 29 years, including stints in various front offices since 1997.
Stewart, who served as the assistant GM for the Toronto Blue Jays at the turn of the century, will be a GM for the first time. The 57-year-old former major league hurler played for longtime MLB manager and current D-Backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa for eight seasons and has been the top candidate for the job for months, according to Nightengale.
The Diamondbacks have taken significant steps in the wrong direction since finishing with 94 wins and winning the NL West in 2011. The team went 81-81 in each of the last two seasons before the wheels fell off entirely this year. Arizona entered Wednesday at 63-95, the worst record in baseball.
Kevin Towers was removed from the general manager position on Sep. 5 after five years as the Diamondbacks' GM. He was offered another position in the organization
Stewart won 168 games, including 20 or more in four consecutive seasons from 1987 through 1990, and finished with a 3.95 ERA in 16 major league seasons before stepping into a front office role with Sandy Alderson's Oakland Athletics in 1995. Following his short tenure in Toronto's front office, Stewart served as a pitching coach for the Jays, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers.
He's now an agent for SMP, which represents Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Chris Carter and other major league players. Stewart is reportedly close to transferring his agency to former A's teammate Dave Henderson, per Jon Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.