The Dodgers have made more changes to their international scouting department, most notably with today's hiring of Bob Engle as their vice president of international scouting.
Bob Elliot reported last night on Twitter that the Dodgers were going to hire Engle, whose contract with the Mariners as their vice president of international scouting ended yesterday.
Word in the industry is that there could be more major changes coming to the team's front office, but the team has already confirmed that Engle will bring aboard several of his former lieutenants with the Mariners to work for the Dodgers.
The move to the Dodgers reunites Engle with Patrick Guerrero, his Dominican-based Latin American coordinator with Seattle who was fired last month. The Dodgers have also hired Pedro Avila, the former Mariners scout who helped signed Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez when he was 16. Avila, who had since joined the Rangers' international scouting department, will become the Dodgers' new Venezuelan coordinator.
Three other scouts who had worked for Engle in Seattle will join his staff with the Dodgers. Pat Kelly is coming in as the team's Pacific Rim coordinator after holding the same title in Seattle. Jamie Storvick, who resides in Taiwan, will also be heavily involved in the team's Pacific Rim work. Gene Grimaldi will help lead the team's efforts in Europe. The Dodgers are also bringing in Mike Tosar, who had been out of baseball but also previously worked with Engle in Seattle, as a special assignment scout.
On Oct. 5, the Mariners issued a press release stating that Engle had decided to leave his post as the organization's vice president of international scouting when his contract expired. Having worked together in Seattle since 2000, Engle and Guerrero are close, and according to Baseball America's sources, the decision to fire Guerrero came from above Engle. Guerrero now holds the same title with the Dodgers, while Seattle hired Cubs West Coast crosschecker Tim Kissner as their new director of international operations. Emilio Carrasquel, Seattle's Venezuelan supervisor, will stay with the Mariners.
Since former general manager Pat Gillick hired Engle in January 2000, Engle helped the Mariners secure an impressive collection of international players, most notably Hernandez when he was 16 in 2002. Venezuelan shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, South Korean outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and Dominican righthander Michael Pineda were also among the players signed under Engle's watch.
Prior to joining the Mariners, Engle had worked for Gillick as the Blue Jays scouting director, where he had a hand in drafting three more Cy Young Award winners in Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter and Pat Hentgen. Engle has been involved in scouting for nearly 40 years since he began his career as a Midwest scouting supervisor for the Orioles in 1974.
The Mariners were one of the most aggressive spenders in the international market under Engle's watch, and it figures that will continue in Los Angeles with the Dodgers' new ownership. The Dodgers had previously been one of the most frugal teams internationally, ranking last in international amateur spending in 2011 at an estimated $177,000 after also spending the least of all 30 teams in 2010 at an estimated $314,000.
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