Watson won't return to D-backs' front office

La Russa, whose own status is uncertain, announces senior VP of baseball ops' departure after this season

Watson won't return to D-backs' front office

PHOENIX -- D-backs senior vice president of baseball operations De Jon Watson will not be back for the 2017 season.

Watson's contract will not be renewed at the end of the season, which was announced by chief baseball officer Tony La Russa after Sunday's 10-9, 12-inning win over the Dodgers. Watson, along with general manager Dave Stewart, was hired on Sept. 25, 2014, a few months after La Russa joined the organization.

"One thing about talking to De Jon when his option was not picked up at the end of August, he asked about how long it would take, because if it wasn't going to work out, he's got contacts to make so he can land on his feet," La Russa said. "That kind of sped the process up in his case. He's everything we thought when he came here, tons of personality, a very bright guy, an out-of-the-box thinker, he's got great experience."

Stewart and La Russa also have expiring contracts, with both of their statuses for 2017 still uncertain. However, La Russa said if he and Stewart do continue their tenures next season, there may be changes in how the front office operates.

"We're thinking about if there's a possibility of a little bit of consolidating responsibilities if we go forward," La Russa said. "But I'm making it very clear -- that's if. I honestly don't have any idea how it's going to turn out. Meetings are still to be held with [managing general partner] Ken [Kendrick] and [president/CEO] Derrick [Hall], and that's when we'll get it decided."

La Russa said he is not sure when he will meet with Kendrick and Hall regarding his contract status, but he would like to do that before the end of this season.

"You have it when you have it," said La Russa, a Hall of Famer for his illustrious managerial career with the White Sox, A's and Cardinals.

During his three years with Arizona, Watson oversaw the franchise's professional, amateur and international scouting, as well as player development functions. He also increased the D-backs' focus in the international market, helping to land Yasmany Tomas and Yoan Lopez.

Watson spent eight years in the Dodgers' organization prior to joining the D-backs.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.