New Brewers general manager David Stearns began to restructure his front office Tuesday by dismissing the club's longtime farm director, Reid Nichols, and reassigning two other top officials, including assistant GM Gord Ash.
Ash and director of Minor League business operations Scott Martens will be offered different positions in the organization. Stearns declined to immediately say what roles he had in mind, pending more detailed conversations with each man. Nichols, who had been on the job since late 2002, will not remain with the club.
"Sometimes good people get caught up in changes like this, and this is one of those situations," said Stearns, who was hired last month. "Reid has given a lot to this organization and has helped to develop a lot of really good players."
Stearns said he did not anticipate any further front office changes for the time being, an indication that other top officials like pro scouting director Zack Minasian and amateur scouting director Ray Montgomery will remain.
Tuesday's moves left the Brewers with two key vacancies: assistant GM and farm director. Stearns filled one of those Wednesday by hiring former Rays pro scouting director Matt Arnold as Milwaukee's assistant GM.
"You want to have a person you're 100 percent comfortable with and philosophically aligned with," Stearns said. "That doesn't mean you have to agree on everything. In fact, I hope my assistant GM disagrees with me sometimes."
Ash had been the Brewers' No. 2 man in baseball operations since November 2002, soon after Doug Melvin was hired as GM. In a telephone conversation, Ash said he was open to the idea of a different role with the club, but he had only briefly spoken with Stearns about the parameters.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.