PHOENIX -- The reverberations from one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history began for the D-backs on Monday as general manager Dave Stewart was told his contract would not be renewed and manager Chip Hale was dismissed.The role of chief baseball officer Tony La Russa had not been
PHOENIX -- The reverberations from one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history began for the D-backs on Monday as general manager Dave Stewart was told his contract would not be renewed and manager Chip Hale was dismissed.
The role of chief baseball officer Tony La Russa had not been resolved. D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick said there are ongoing discussions between the sides as to what role may be a fit for La Russa, but he will no longer be atop the baseball operations department.
"It was obviously a tough decision," D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said. "These are guys we care a lot about, and they worked very hard. It's time to turn the page and hit reset and see if we can't get going in the right direction. We owe that to the fans and we owe that to the organization, and that's why we're here today."
After committing $206.5 million over six years for free agent right-hander Zack Greinke and giving up a lot to acquire right-hander Shelby Miller in a trade with the Braves, the D-backs were expected to contend for a postseason berth.
Instead, they struggled from the outset of the season and finished with a 69-93 record and in fourth place in the National League West.
"We looked at this in terms of trend, and we did not see the trend line at present moving in the right direction," Kendrick said. "Obviously the most easy and direct measuring stick is the number of wins versus the number of losses, and clearly we were going in the wrong direction. I think you have to look beyond that and look at ... under the present regime, where do we see the next year or years going, and we weren't comfortable that we saw them going in the right direction."
Hall said he and Kendrick will begin gathering a list of general manager candidates.
Though the last two Arizona general managers were more old-school rather than new-school when it comes to advanced metrics, Hall said the new GM will likely have more of an analytical bent while still striking a balance.
"There's some really good candidates out there, and we'll hire the best one out of those available," Hall said. "But somebody that has significant experience and obviously when it comes to player evaluation and analytics, a combination of all."
Hall clarified that by experience he means overall experience in the game and not necessarily experience in the GM role.
Following the dismissal of Josh Byrnes on July 1, 2010, the D-backs have had two full-time GMs in Kevin Towers and Stewart, along with Jerry Dipoto, who filled in on an interim basis in 2010.
Kendrick and Hall both said they deserved the blame for the turnover, given that they've been in their respective roles throughout that time period.
"Certainly it starts with me," Kendrick said. "We've made some bad choices. And I'm going to make some more mistakes, by the way. It won't be my last. I hope I'll be around a while, so I hope it will take a while before we have to have another one of these events."
The next GM will be able to pick Hale's replacement.
"I am thankful for the opportunity that the Arizona Diamondbacks gave me to manage a great group of young men," Hale said. "There is a bright future ahead for these players. I wish them all the luck in the world."
As for the coaches, only pitching coach Mike Butcher and hitting coach Dave Magadan are under contract for next season. Bench coach Glenn Sherlock, third-base coach Matt Williams, first-base coach Dave McKay, bullpen coach Garvin Alston and assistant hitting coach Mark Grace all have contracts that expire this month.
La Russa was hired to oversee the baseball operations department in May 2014, and he spent the rest of that season evaluating the organization.
La Russa elected to dismiss Towers and manager Kirk Gibson in September that year and then hired Stewart and Hale.
Before Sunday's season finale against the Padres, Stewart acknowledged how poorly the 2016 season went, but also made the case for his return.
"The last two years from when I've come in here, I think my overall body of work has been good here -- trades, putting our Minor League system in an upward direction," Stewart said. "I think that I've done well. If you just look at the overall body for two years, there shouldn't be any reason why I'm not coming back."
D-backs ownership did not agree.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.