D-backs hire assistant GM Minniti from Nationals

Veteran scout Russell also added to baseball operations staff

The D-backs continued filling out their baseball operations department Thursday by hiring Bryan Minniti as assistant general manager and Mike Russell as special assistant to senior vice president of baseball operations.

Minniti spent the previous five seasons with the Nationals assisting GM Mike Rizzo. Minniti specialized in rules compliance, transactions, budgeting and contract negotiations.

Before joining the Nationals, Minniti spent nine seasons in the Pirates' baseball operations department, rising to the position of director of baseball operations.

Russell had been a member of the Tigers' Major League scouting staff since 2002, primarily responsible for scouting National League East teams and players.

Recently inducted into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame, Russell got his start as an area supervisor for the Giants in 1988. He also has worked for the Blue Jays and Marlins during his long career, and four of the teams he worked for reached the World Series.

The D-backs' baseball operations department has undergone a significant overhaul over the past year, beginning in May when Tony La Russa was hired to the newly created position of chief baseball officer.

GM Kevin Towers saw his duties shifted and eventually left the organization with Dave Stewart being hired to replace him and De Jon Watson named senior vice president of baseball operations.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.