Brown Discusses Departure From Nats
Sunday night, Dana Brown decided to take a new job, departing the Washington Nationals -- where he served as scouting director -- for a higher-level front-office position with the Toronto Blue Jays. Brown agonized over the decision, in part because he'd been with the organization for eight years, longer than all but three or four employees. Through all the turmoil -- contraction talk, prospect-gutting trades, relocation to Washington -- Brown was a steadying force.
So why is he leaving now, to become a special assistant to new Toronto General Manager Alex Anthopoulos?
"I have aspirations of maybe one day being a GM down the road some time," Brown said, "and I thought this was maybe another stepping stone."
On Monday, Brown was already in Toronto, meeting just a few of his new co-workers. One he already knows well. When Brown first joined the Expos in early 2002, Anthopoulos was an intern. Brown, based on his recollection, hired Anthopoulos to a full-time job days later.
Brown's departure from the Nationals, leaves a hole that could be filled in-house by crosschecker Kris Kline, a trusted lieutenant for General Manager Mike Rizzo. The Blue Jays requested permission from Rizzo to speak with Brown about their job opening last week.
"It was a very difficult thing for me [to leave] because I had been a part of the organization for eight years," Brown said. "And Stan [Kasten] and I talked about this: Right as more players are starting to get [to the majors], here I jump to another team. So it's kind of like you have to watch the players you helped draft get this chance while you're with another team. And the friendships you develop -- Kasten, Rizzo, all the people in baseball operations. I get along with everybody. So it's tough to come to a new organization where you know the GM, maybe a few scouts, and that's it."
All along, Brown was planning to spend time in the Arizona Fall League, which begins on Tuesday. But now he'll have expanded duties. Brown will be in Arizona not only to evaluate his own players, but also to file reports on opponents -- "targets," as he described, that Toronto might consider in the Rule 5 draft or in trades.
"Basically I'm going to assist Alex on all baseball operations and player moves, in terms of helping with the draft, helping with trades, evaluating players in the minor leagues," Brown said. "I'll probably see some players in the Latin American countries. Anything that also has to do with trades. Covering the fall league. And basically reporting to the general manager."
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