The Nationals added De Jon Watson to their pro scouting department on Friday, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. Watson will serve as a special assistant to Washington GM Mike Rizzo.
No stranger to the National League, Watson worked as the senior vice president of baseball operations in the Diamondbacks’ front office from 2015 – 2016 after spending eight years within the Dodgers’ organization. He managed the Diamondbacks’ scouting and player development programs and was instrumental in bringing in international talent during the 2016 season, Collier reports. The club did not pick up his contract this offseason.
Although the Nationals are expected to utilize Watson in developing their own international talent, he won’t be the only special assistant advising Rizzo during the 2017 season. Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com points out that Rizzo kept a staff of 10 special assistants in 2016, including Steve Arnieri, Chuck Cottier, Mike Cubbage, Michael Daughtry, Jay Robertson, Bob Schaefer, Terry Wetzel, Jeff Zone, and Dan Jennings.
The Cubs announced on Wednesday that pitcher Brett Anderson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and subsequently designated for assignment to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.
Anderson, 29, had been out since May 7 with a lower back strain. Across six starts prior to the injury, the lefty yielded 20 earned runs on 34 hits and 12 walks with 16 strikeouts in 22 innings. He has logged just 33 1/3 innings over the last two seasons and has crossed the 50-inning threshold just since dating back to 2011.
Despite his lengthy injury history, Anderson will likely still draw some interest once he becomes a free agent as he throws with his left hand and can be had for the major league minimum salary.
Reds infielder Dilson Herrera will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his right shoulder. His season is over.
Herrera, you may recall, was acquired from the Mets in the Jay Bruce trade last year. He played in 49 games for the Mets, but spent all of last year and this year in the minors. In parts of seven minor league seasons he’s hit .295/.357/.461 with 67 homers and 87 stolen bases in 631 games.
Herrera, one time a top-5 prospect of the Mets, was expected to play in the bigs this year, but hasn’t. He was expected to challenge for the starting second base job for the Reds next year, but that’s obviously in doubt now. The worst part: he’ll be out of minor league options next year, so the Reds will be pressured to either put him on the big league roster fresh off an injury or else risk losing him via waivers, which I suspect he’d be unlikely to clear.