The Washington Nationals announced an addition to the front office Friday afternoon, reporting on Twitter that they had hired former Arizona Diamondbacks’ Senior Vice President of Baseball operations De Jon Watson as part of their pro scouting staff.
Watson will join the Nationals as a Special Assistant to General Manager Mike Rizzo.
Watson, 50, is a one-time Kansas City Royals’ draft pick and prospect (1985-89) who started working as an area scout with the Florida Marlins (1991-97) after his playing days ended, then moved to Cincinnati, where he served as Scouting Director (1998-2000).
He stayed with Los Angeles through 2013-14 before he joined Arizona’s front office.
D-Backs’ Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa described Watson as, “... a very bright guy,” and, “an out-of-the-box thinker,” with “great experience” in an article by AZ Central writer Nick Piecoro when Arizona parted ways with Watson in September.
MLB.com’s Jamal Collier noted in a story on the Nationals’ front office addition, “... that Watson played a key role in Arizona's focus on the international market and was instrumental in the signing of outfielder Yasmany Tomas and right-hander Yoan Lopez from Cuba.”
MASNSports.com’s Mark Zuckerman mentioned that Watson will be joining, “[GM] Mike Rizzo’s deep staff of special assistants, which last year included 10 men: Steve Arnieri, Chuck Cottier, Mike Cubbage, Michael Daughtry, Dan Jennings, Ron Rizzi, Jay Robertson, Bob Schaefer, Terry Wetzel and Jeff Zona.”
Welcome to Rizzo’s baseball shop, Mr. Watson.