Nationals hire Bob Miller as Vice President and Assistant GM

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Feb 24, 2014; Viera, FL, USA; Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo watches some spring training action at space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Nationals have hired former Cincinnati Reds executive Bob Miller as vice president and assistant general manager, the team announced Monday.

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When former vice president and assistant general manager Bryan Minniti left the Washington Nationals to join the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this offseason, the Nationals were left with a major hole to fill in their front office. With Miller, the Nationals have filled that hole.

Miller, who is entering his 33rd season in professional baseball, spent the last nine years with Cincinnati. The 50-year-old University of South Florida grad most recently served as vice president and assistant general manager to Reds’ president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty.

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Miller is no stranger to Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. Miller and Rizzo worked together for seven years in Arizona, where they helped lead the Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001 and played a major role in shaping Arizona’s farm system into one of the best in baseball.

Replacing Minniti will be no easy task for Miller, as Minniti’s contributions to the front office are a big reason why the Nationals have won the NL East twice in the last three years.

Rizzo said the following in a written statement regarding the departure of Minniti last month:

"“Bryan has been an integral part of my staff for the past five years.” “The success we’ve had as an organization, building from 100-loss team to one that has captured two NL East Division Championships in the last three years, would not have been possible without him. He was a tireless worker and a trusted advisor. On behalf of the organization, I wish him nothing but the best in the future.”"

While Minniti was a big part of the Nationals’ front office for years, Miller has the experience necessary to succeed in his new position and he’ll play a key role in the Nationals’ offseason plans this winter. Like Minniti before him, Miller will be heavily involved in negotiating player contracts – something that the Nationals will likely be doing a lot of this winter.

Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond are all candidates for long-term contract extensions, while Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are not too far behind. The Nationals will have a lot of crucial decisions to make this offseason and in years to come, and Miller will play a major role in making those decisions.

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