The Arizona Diamondbacks continue to retool their front office with the hiring Billy Ryan as an Assistant General Manager reporting to Kevin Towers. This hiring should mark the final piece to the baseball operations staff other than a few minor shuffling within the organization.
The hiring of Ryan is a rather interesting choice. Previous to joining the Diamondbacks he worked in the baseball commissioner’s office as the senior coordinator of salary and contract administration.
That role worked with all 30 Major League Baseball franchises to understand the nuances of the Basic Agreement with the player’s union as well as work with the clubs on player contractual issues.
This hiring will give the Diamondbacks a great resource when working with players and their agents. It will also pay dividends as Arizona’s young core of players reach arbitration age and go through that process.
Besides managing contract issues, Ryan is also expected to work closely with the scouting department in defining bonus recommendations surrounding the First Year Player Draft each June.
Given the complexities of contracts, having a dedicated resource that understands the nuances should help the Diamondbacks maintain a strong stance. Ryan will also bring with him a solid network of people he can reach out to during negotiations especially regarding the amateur draft.
Ryan is taking the organizational place of Peter Woodfork who left the Diamondbacks in October by mutual agreement. Woodfork was former GM Josh Byrnes right-hand man and has been a hot commodity in baseball circles based on his statistical background.