"When we made the decision to bring Tony on board as Chief Baseball Officer and eventually began the process of restructuring our baseball operations department, we knew that it would be important to surround him with talent that complements his strengths and makes us a better organization," said Hall. "During my initial interview with De Jon several years ago and throughout this process, Tony and I have been thoroughly impressed with both he and Dave and are very fortunate to be able to bring both of them into the D-backs family."
"I am excited to be able to bring in two talented and uniquely qualified individuals as part of our front office leadership team that I feel will improve our organization," said La Russa, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July. "Our various strengths blend well with more than a century of experience in different areas of the game and we will work together to get this team moving in the right direction.
"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. 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, 57, joins the D-backs as the fourth general manager in franchise history. He most recently owned and operated Sports Management Partners, the sports agency he founded that represents current and former players and coaches.
Prior to starting SMP in 2002, Stewart worked in the front office as a Special Assistant to General Manager Sandy Alderson with the Oakland A's in 1996, Special Assistant to GM Kevin Towers with the San Diego Padres in 1997 and Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 1998-2001, including the added responsibility of overseeing both player development and scouting during the 2001 season. Stewart also held the position of pitching coach with the Padres (1998), Blue Jays (2000) and Milwaukee Brewers (2002) before starting his agency.
Stewart is the only current General Manager to play and coach in the Major Leagues, and the fourth current GM to appear in a big-league game, joining Ruben Amaro Jr., Billy Beane and Jerry DiPoto. The last GM to serve as a Major League player and coach prior to becoming GM was Bob Watson with the New York Yankees from 1995-98.
"I've been fortunate enough to enjoy success as a player and coach and really enjoyed my time representing players, but this is the perfect challenge for me," said Stewart, who was part of three World Series championship teams and earned Postseason MVP honors three times. "To try and put together the pieces of a championship team is something I can't wait to begin and I could not be more excited about doing it with De Jon and alongside a Hall of Famer who I respect greatly in Tony."
Stewart, a member of the 1989 AL All-Star Team, went 168-129 with 19 saves and a 3.95 ERA over 16 Major League seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1978, '81-83), Texas Rangers (1983-85), Philadelphia Phillies (1985-86), A's (1986-92, '95) and Blue Jays (1993-94). He won at least 20 games in four consecutive years from 1987-90, finishing among the Top 5 in AL Cy Young voting in each of those campaigns. He also pitched a no-hitter on June 29, 1990 at Toronto.
Stewart reached the postseason six times in his career, winning three World Series, the 1989 World Series Most Valuable Player award and garnering 1990 and 1993 ALCS MVP honors. In the 1989 World Series vs. the San Francisco Giants, he went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, including a 5-hit shutout in Game 1.
Watson, 48, is completing his eighth year in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and 29th year in baseball, including a 5-year Minor League playing career. He most recently served as Vice President of Player Development for the Dodgers, where he was responsible for developing and evaluating all players in the Minor League system, appointing all Minor League managers and coaching staff and overseeing the club's winter ball participation.
During his time overseeing player development, the Dodgers have had several All-Stars reach the Major Leagues, including Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon, among others.
Prior to joining the Dodgers, Watson served as Director of Professional Scouting for the Cleveland Indians (2004-06) and handled pro scouting duties in Cincinnati (2001-03) after serving as the Reds' Director of Scouting (1998-2000), where some of his draft picks included Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns. Watson first began working in Major League Baseball in 1991 with the Florida Marlins and served as an area scout when the club when it won its first World Championship in 1997.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to be a part of a very special team that Tony has put together," said Watson. "I could not pass up the chance to be part of a dynamic working group and impact this organization in a way that helps us improve the way we compete, with a goal of playing October baseball."