Following his team's disappointing end to the 2014 National League Division series, Washington Nationals assistant general manager Bryan Minniti has announced his resignation. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal announced the news early Friday evening. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal announced the news early Friday evening.
James Wagner of the Washington Post noted that Minniti announced the news in a private email to his coworkers, saying that he simply needed a change. In addition to his five years with Washington, Minniti served in a similar capacity with Pittsburgh Pirates from 2000-2008. In addition, Wagner also called the move "surprising", saying that the Nationals did not expect to make any significant front office or coaching staff changes during the upcoming off-season. Minniti ran daily team functions and handled contracts for the past five years since joining the Nationals in 2009.
Minniti helped turn the Nationals into winners. He joined a team that finished near the bottom of the National League East (fourth or fifth place) for six consecutive years from 2003 (when still the Montreal Expos) to 2008. After three more losing seasons, the Nationals started their turnaround. From 2009-2011, the Nationals finished under .500 all three years but started to show steady progress in 2010. They finished with records of 59-103 (fifth place) in 2009, 69-93 (fifth) in 2010 and 80-81 (third) in 2011. That improvement turned into division titles beginning in 2012, the first for the franchise since the strike-shortened 1994 season. Then, in 2014, the Nationals won their second division title in three years with a second-place finish sandwiched in between this year and 2012.
Wagner quoted a written statement from Nationals' general manager Mike Rizzo discussing exactly the success that his assistant helped bring to the team.
“Bryan [Minniti] has been an integral part of my staff for the past five years. The success we’ve had as an organization, building from 100-loss team to one that has captured two NL East Division Championships in the last three years, would not have been possible without him. He was a tireless worker and a trusted advisor. On behalf of the organization, I wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
That turn began in 2010 and stemmed from the drafting of ace Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Bryce Harper; bringing in established veterans such as first baseman Adam LaRoche, outfielder Jayson Werth and pitcher Gio Gonzalez; and developing the young talent such as third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, shortstop Ian Desmond and pitcher Jordan Zimmermann among others already present when Minniti came aboard.
According to Wagner, Minniti also stated in his email that he plans to work outside of baseball but would not comment any further.