McLeod joins D-backs as special assistant

December 17th, 2021

PHOENIX -- The D-backs made the hiring of former Cubs assistant general manager Jason McLeod official Thursday along with a host of other front office title and role changes.

McLeod will be a special assistant to general manager Mike Hazen and will have a hand in a number of different areas of the baseball-operations department, which befits his wide and varied experience.

"Jason has a wealth of experience as an evaluator, a veteran scout that has run Drafts and has been a part of overseeing player development, and we just feel like he’s extremely talented," Hazen said. "His personality, his experience will help us in a number of different areas across the organization, Major League operation and Minor League operation and scouting, as well. We just felt like he was going to be a big addition for us."

McLeod worked in a variety of roles over the past 10 years with the Cubs, and before that, he spent two years as assistant GM to Jed Hoyer with the Padres.

Hazen and assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye are very familiar with McLeod, as the trio worked together for the Red Sox from 2003-09.

In addition to adding McLeod, the team also announced that Deric Ladnier is getting a title change from scouting director to special assistant to the GM.

"Deric Ladnier and Jason will handle or be intimately involved in scouting, development and Major League operations," Hazen said. "I think their experience is going to help us in a lot of ways from a leadership standpoint as we transition our staff. We feel like they’re going to be invaluable resources to our director group. We have a younger director group who we think are extremely talented as well, but these guys are going to help in so many different ways there."

Ian Rebhan, who had been the assistant director of amateur scouting, will assume the title of scouting director.

Rebhan will continue to take on more responsibility over the coming year, but he will not fully take over the role until after next year's MLB Draft.

"Deric’s first six months are probably going to be a little different but not a lot different from what he’s done," Hazen said. "I think that making sure we don’t take Deric too far out of the Draft process -- given that we’re picking second in the Draft -- just makes sense to us as we transition out of this. I think Deric's role is going to continue to expand as we move beyond the next Draft -- that’s kind of how we see that transition happening."

Hazen is currently on a physical leave of absence due to his wife Nicole's battle with brain cancer. While he is not physically in the office, he is still running Arizona's baseball-operations department with help from Sawdaye and vice president of research and development Mike Fitzgerald.

When Hazen took his leave last season, the team brought in veteran baseball executive Allard Baird as a special assistant. Baird spent time evaluating all areas of baseball operations upon his arrival, and he has become a valued member of the department.

"Allard is probably going to spend the majority of his time in the Majors as well as some evaluation, and Minors," Hazen said.