Jason McLeod Joins Diamondbacks as Special Assistant to GM

As Ken Rosenthal reported late Thursday morning, former Cubs executive Jason McLeod has been hired by the Diamondbacks as a special assistant to GM Mike Hazen. McLeod was given an opportunity to stay on with the Cubs after his contract expired in October, but he — and probably the Cubs, if we’re being honest — preferred to move in a new direction. As it turns out, however, this isn’t something entirely new.

Hazen served as the Red Sox director of player development starting in 2006, at which time McLeod was with Boston as the scouting director. McLeod followed Jed Hoyer to San Diego in 2009 and the pair joined Theo Epstein in Chicago in late 2011 with McLeod becoming VP of scouting and player development. Hazen likewise ascended to VP of player development with the Red Sox and was eventually named GM in 2015.

After just one year in that role, during which time president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski maintained final say on baseball decisions, Hazen was hired by the D-backs as GM and executive vice president. He then hired Jared Porter away from the Cubs to be his assistant GM and also lured Jason “Professor” Parks as director of professional scouting.

Now Hazen has hired McLeod, who was shifted to director of player personnel in 2020 and remained in that role through the end of his contract. Long considered to be a GM candidate himself, McLeod’s name didn’t come up in the Mets’ protracted search and it didn’t seem as though he was looking for a specific role when he told Gordon Wittenmyer he was having conversations with three or four teams.

It was the right time for McLeod to move on and this might give him the chance to, as Rosenthal put it, “contribute in a variety of roles” while perhaps buffing his résumé for the next round of front office openings. If nothing else, it puts the Hawaiian native much closer to home and keeps him out of the brutal Chicago winters.

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