Tony La Russa Departing D-backs

Arizona Sports News online

Arizona Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Analyst Tony La Russa will be departing the team at the end of the month according to a team release.

La Russa was brought in as the team’s Chief Baseball Officer from 2015-16 with then-general manager Dave Stewart. 

The 2015 Diamondbacks held a 79-83 record and after an offseason where they brought in pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller while trading the team’s top prospect, Dansby Swanson, the team went 69-93.

After Stewart and manager Chip Hale were fired, the Diamondbacks decided to retain La Russa in a lesser role as “Chief Baseball Analyst” and was an advisor to general manager Mike Hazen during the team’s 2017 season where they made it to the National League Division Series.

“I am grateful to everyone in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for the opportunity to complete my baseball education,” said La Russa said in a release. “After years in uniform and working with the Commissioner and many special members of Major League Baseball, being a part of the D-backs was both exciting and educational. The challenges facing baseball operations, player development and scouting are unique, as it’s a 24-7, 12-month job and more demanding than I ever realized. The success in 2017 was a complete team effort throughout the organization — including great support from our fans — and with the current leadership in place, we can expect it to be the foundation for many winning years to come.”

The hall of fame manager won three World Series titles with the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. He stepped away from managing in 2011 before joining the Diamondbacks in 2015.

“Tony has been of great value to me, personally, and our staff during the past season, and I’m very appreciative for all that he has done here and the manner in which he handled the transition,” said D-backs Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Hazen in a release. “I always had respect for him and his accomplishments prior to working with him every day and that has only grown in the past year. I wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.”

What’s Next

The Diamondbacks gear up for an interesting offseason where they could pursue free agent target J.D. Martinez and plenty of players on the roster who are arbitration-eligible.