Byrnes knows the NL West

Josh Byrnes' success in Arizona could hinge on his ability to co-exist with Jeff Moorad as much as his GM skills.

Originally Published: October 28, 2005
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
Josh Byrnes spent the past three years in the Boston front office as Theo Epstein's assistant, watching Larry Lucchino play the role of "interventionist" club president. So he can't say he wasn't warned.

Byrnes, 35, signed a four-year contract today to replace Joe Garagiola Jr. as Arizona Diamondbacks general manager. Throw in a fifth-year club option, and the security is hard to beat. But lots of people in the baseball business are wondering: Will Byrnes be running the team, or merely tending to details while agent-turned-general partner Jeff Moorad calls the shots in the role of Larry Lucchino West?

Byrnes is undeniably intelligent and well-spoken. As a Haverford College graduate with a fondness for statistics, he's generally lumped in with the "Moneyball" breed of young executives. But Byrnes played college baseball and oversaw the farm and scouting departments in Colorado, so he understands the value of having good player evaluation people around him. One rumor is that Byrnes might bring in former big-league pitcher Jerry DiPoto, now the Rockies' director of pro scouting, as an adviser and sounding board.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer