NL East Trio Changes Farm Directors
LaMar, Kemp resign; Marlins bring in Scott
In July, with the Marlins sliding down the National League East standings, Florida owner Jeffrey Loria publicly complained about the team's lack of major league-ready players in the minor leagues.
Two months later, the Marlins did something about it, reassigning longtime farm director Jim Fleming and plucking baseball lifer Marty Scott out of independent basball to oversee the farm system. The Marlins were one of three teams to shuffle their front office as the season drew to a close in September.
Scott, who had spent the past three seasons as manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs in the American Association, takes over as vice president of player development. Brian Chattin will stay on as farm director and report to Scott.
Fleming will serve as special assistant to the president of baseball operations and will work with general manager Larry Beinfest on trades and personnel evaluations. Scouting director Stan Meek was promoted to vice president of scouting and will oversee the draft.
"This wasn't about necessarily dissatisfaction with development or dissatisfaction with scouting or the flow of players or whatever," Beinfest said. "This was about just trying to make things better than we've done it in the past. Obviously we've had success developing players here.
"We have a core of young players that are on this team that we think are going to be important pieces moving forward, but with Marty Scott here . . . (we're) maybe taking a different look and a different approach."
Scott certainly brings a different background. He has spent the bulk of the past 15 years of his 35-year baseball career in indy ball. Scott served as Rangers' farm director from 1985-1994, and it was there that he developed a relationship with Loria, who owned Texas' Triple-A Oklahoma City affiliate from 1989-94.
"Jeffrey was very active as an owner at Triple-A, just as he is now at the big league level. We have a mutual respect for the game and our relationship for a long time," Scott said. "This is my philosophy: I've persevered, I've worn a lot of different hats, because I come to work, I come to the ballpark every single day expecting to learn something myself."
The Marlins are set to move into a new downtown ballpark in 2012, and Beinfest believes a reshuffling of staff should have the team better positioned for the future.
"A lot of the same faces, just a little bit different roles, and hopefully it will be productive for us," he said. "It's been a long time since we made a change around here, and we want to try to see if we can do things even better than we have been."
Meanwhile, Phillies assistant general manager of player development and scouting Chuck LaMar resigned after four years with the team.
LaMar made his decision during a meeting with general manager Ruben Amaro and assistant GM Benny Looper, and just days after raving about the Phillies farm system to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"A lot of teams want to say they have the best arrangement in baseball, but we do have it here," LaMar told the newspaper. "From Lehigh Valley to Reading to Lakewood and the spring-training facility in Clearwater, it is just a fantastic set-up."
LaMar had yet to make a public comment on his decision, and Amaro offered little insight. One source told the Inquirer that LaMar was frustrated that the Phillies had spent little recently in the draft to restock a system that had been depleted by trades in recent years.
In Atlanta, veteran Braves farm director Kurt Kemp resigned from the team to pursue other opportunities. The club announced assistant general manager Bruce Manno would add Kemp's farm director duties. Assistant director of player development Ronnie Richardson was promoted to director of minor league operations, and director of baseball administration John Coppolella was promoted to director of professional scouting.
Matt Forman contributed to this report from Miami.