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Nationals hire special assistant De Jon Watson

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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.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.