Then-Atlanta Braves' Scouting Director Roy Clark turned down an offer to join former Braves' team President Stan Kasten as an Assistant General Manager in the nation's capital in 2006. Mike Rizzo was hired as an Assistant GM that year. Three years later, when Rizzo became the full-time GM, the former D-Backs' Scouting Director rebuilt his front office and convinced Clark to jump ship to Atlanta's NL East rivals after 11 years with the Braves. Clark, Rizzo and Nats' Scouting Director Kris Kline inherited a minor league system that was ranked 26th out of 30 teams by Baseball America in 2009.
As the Nationals' front office set about rebuilding the organizational depth, scouts around baseball took notice.
ESPN.com's Keith Law bumped the Nats up from 23rd to 19th in his organizational rankings between 2010-2011.
Asked about the recognition from the Baseball Americas and Keith Laws of the world, Rizzo told reporters that winter that the three drafts since he took over in D.C. had done a lot to help restock the system.
"I think it goes hand-in-hand with Kris Kline becoming the scouting director, Roy Clark becoming Assistant GM," Rizzo said. "These guys are baseball afficionados. They know the game. They know the draft game very well, and it's a unique skill set that they have and it's no coincidence that when those guys were brought in that we've taken off."
Before the Gio Gonzalez trade sent four of the Nationals' top prospects to Oakland in return for the A's left-hander in the winter of 2012, the Nats had jumped to no.1 on Baseball America's organizational rankings.
"The scouting and player development departments worked tirelessly and effectively to sign the best prospects to make a major league roster and to give us the ability to either play the best or trade for the best," Rizzo said that March in a Nationals' press release. "That’s the recipe for building a successful organization."
According to a report by ESPN.com's Keith Law today, however, Clark, after helping rebuild the Nationals' system, has accepted another offer from Stan Kasten, now the President of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to join him in LA:
The rich get richer - Roy Clark has left the Nationals for the Dodgers.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) November 12, 2013
Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore has since confirmed the report:
Mike Rizzo confirmed that Roy Clark has left the Nats. @keithlaw reports he went to the Dodgers. Rizzo said the Nats will announce changes.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) November 12, 2013
The Nationals lost third base coach Trent Jewett to the Seattle Mariners yesterday, leaving them with a job opening on new manager Matt Williams' staff. Now there's an opening in the front office too.
More from Federal Baseball:
- Wire Taps: Nationals Lose Trent Jewett To Mariners' Bench
- Nationals AFL Update: Mesa Solar Sox Fighting To Make Championship Game
- Nationals Rumors: Jeff Samardzija? David Price? Max Scherzer?
- The Starting Nine: Nationals Links; Pitching Search; GM Meetings
- Nationals Grant Mariners Permission To Interview Trent Jewett For Bench Coach