A day after dismissing their director of player development, the Washington Nationals -- still without an owner or any assurances that the current leadership will be back -- signed scouting director Dana Brown to a one-year contract extension Tuesday, ensuring Brown won't pursue a job with another team while the ownership situation is settled.
The New York Mets asked the Nationals for permission to speak with Brown about a job, though not necessarily as the scouting director. Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said that even though the contracts for all front office employees expire on Oct. 31, he felt it was important to lock up Brown, who was instrumental in selecting Chad Cordero with the franchise's first pick in the 2003 draft. Cordero led the majors with 47 saves this year.
"The first thing I did when I came in last November was study all of the reports from all of our scouts," Bowden said. "Dana, by far, stood out among everyone as a premier evaluator. He has a tremendous ability to evaluate amateurs, and a tremendous ability to evaluate pitchers in general."
Brown did not return calls seeking comment.
The move to keep Brown came one day after Bowden fired Adam Wogan, who oversaw the club's farm system. Because Major League Baseball, which owns the Nationals, has narrowed the field of potential new owners to three and would like to wrap up the sale within the next month, Bowden and team president Tony Tavares have said they want to leave most decisions up to the new owners. Because of that, retaining Brown required the approval of baseball president Robert DuPuy.
"I did not want to lose him," Bowden said. "His record is outstanding in the four-year period he's been here."
Bowden said the Nationals have submitted offers to the two free agents they would most like to retain, pitchers Esteban Loaiza and Hector Carrasco. Both players are expected to test the free agent market following the World Series.