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Arizona Diamondbacks – Amiel Sawdaye brings strong draft history

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Mike Hazen Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Hazen Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The University of Maryland alum is General Manager Mike Hazen’s first significant hire.

On Tuesday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks officially announced the hiring of Boston Red Sox executive Amiel Sawdaye as the club’s assistant general manager.

Compensation will not be handed out for the transfers of Hazen or Sawdaye. During his tenure in Boston, Sawdaye garnered praise from his peers and others in baseball.

In 2002, Sawdaye joined the Red Sox’ organization as an intern in the team’s baseball operations department. Two years later, he was  hired by the Red Sox as a full-time scouting assistant. Beginning in 2005, Sawdaye was promoted him to Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting, and remained in that role until the conclusion of the 2009 season.

During the 2010 offseason, Theo Epstein, Boston’s former Executive Vice President and General Manager, announced Sawdaye’s preferment to Director, Amateur Scouting.

Last October, Sawdaye became Vice President, Amateur and International Scouting. In this role, he directed Boston’s scouting directors.

Next: Hazen set to remold pitching staff

Sawdaye’s Decision

Relative to Hazen’s additional moves in hiring former Boston personnel, speculation continues.

Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald expects no other Red Sox’ executives to join Hazen in Arizona. Alex Spier of the Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox offered Sawdaye an assistant gm role. Peter Gammons linked Swadaye Peter Gammons linked Sawdaye to the Twins, but most believed he decided between the Red Sox and Diamondbacks.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reported why Sawdaye chose Arizona.

"“Industry sources said Sawdaye saw Arizona as being where he could have a greater impact given his long and productive professional relationship with Hazen,” said Abraham."

Several around the game thought Hazen would hire a previous associate, and he did not waste any time.

In an effort to win now, the Diamondbacks traded the farm for Shelby Miller. Instead, 2016 turned into a disaster. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
In an effort to win now, the Diamondbacks traded the farm for Shelby Miller. Instead, 2016 turned into a disaster. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Winning from Within

Working alongside Hazen, Sawdaye played directly into the Red Sox’ record of success during the First-Year Player Draft.

In order for the Diamondbacks to compete yearly, many believe the Diamondbacks need a consistent philosophy regarding scouting, player development, and the draft.

In 2015, the Diamondbacks picked Dansby Swanson first. Six months later, Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart dealt Swason to the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller. For good reasons, preliminary retrospective evaluations have not been kind on the Diamondbacks side of that deal.

The Diamondbacks bartered several for Miller and gave Zack Greinke the most guaranteed money ever. By conclusion of the season, the Diamondbacks’ results and their plans did not mesh together.

This does not mean they are rebuilding. This team has a talented core of position players.

Travis Shaw was a part of the Red Sox 2011 draft haul. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)
Travis Shaw was a part of the Red Sox 2011 draft haul. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Impact

Most consider the Diamondbacks’ farm system as one of the worst in baseball. It appears that Hazen, despite his desire to win, will think about the future at all times

The additions of Hazen and Sawdaye should place more of an emphasis on drafting and scouting.

Knowing the heavyweights in the N.L. West (the Dodgers and Giants), and that Arizona lacks superior financial resources, building from within is the only way to consistently compete.

Together, in 2011, Hazen and Sawdaye put together, what some regard, as one of the best drafts ever. All of the featured pieces remain in the organization, including Jackie Bradley Jr. and Travis Shaw. With Hazen and Sawdaye in place, the Diamondbacks will likely embrace a similar philosophy.

For now, these hirings are garnering praise. This off-season and next season’s results should dictate the club’s short and long term future.

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