The Washington Nationals added Dan Jennings to their front office staff on Friday, hiring the former Major League executive and manager as a Special Assistant to President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo, who made the announcement.
Jennings, who will focus on all facets of the Nationals’ scouting operations, comes to Washington on the heels of the unique experience of serving the Miami Marlins both in an executive role (most recently as Vice President and General Manager) as well as in an on-field capacity. Jennings took over as the Marlins’ field manager on May 18, 2015, a brand new experience for him after establishing himself as a scout and working in various front office roles.
The Nationals are Jennings’ first new organization since 2002, when he joined Miami as Vice President of Player Personnel and began his ascension through their front office. Jennings also served as the Marlins’ Assistant General Manager & VP of Player Personnel, before his promotion to General Manager on Sept. 29, 2013. In his front office capacities with the Marlins, Jennings focused on roster management, arbitration, payroll, contract research and negotiations, and waiver rule compliance.
Jennings shifted to the dugout, gaining valuable and varied experiences, when the Marlins relieved Mike Redmond of his duties. He led Miami to a 55-69 record, after the Marlins had opened with a 16-22 mark.
Prior to joining the Marlins, Jennings served as the Director of Scouting for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for more than seven seasons, during which time the Rays signed and developed more than 45 Major League players - including Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, James Shields and Rocco Baldelli. Jennings began his career as an Associate Scout for the Cincinnati Reds in 1986 and moved to an Area Scout role with the Seattle Mariners in 1988. The Mariners promoted him to Midwest Crosschecker in 1995, before Jennings joined the Rays later that year (August 16).
Jennings, who serves on the Board of Directors for the MLB Scout of the Year program and the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, was elected into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in 2012. That election followed his 2004 appointment to the Southeastern Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.
An undrafted right-handed pitcher who was signed by the New York Yankees out of a 1984 tryout camp, Jennings’ minor league career was brief. He played collegiately for the University of Southern Mississippi, before graduating from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 1984.