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11/16/09 3:22 PM EST

Nats hire two for front-office positions

Minniti is assistant GM; Sartori is director of operations

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals hired Bryan Minniti as the assistant general manager and Jay Sartori as the director of baseball operations on Monday afternoon.

"We have two of the best baseball minds in the industry. These guys are as sharp as you can get," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "They both interviewed for the assistant general manager's job. Both were so impressive that I decided to hire both of them."

Minniti joins the Nationals after spending the previous nine seasons with the Pirates, the past two as their director of baseball operations.

With the Pirates, Minniti's duties included rules compliance, transactions, budgeting and contract negotiations. Minniti graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a double major in mathematics and statistics.

"[In Pittsburgh], he did everything an assistant GM does," Rizzo said.

Sartori worked for the Commissioner's Office as salary and contract administration manager in Major League Baseball's labor relations department before accepting his position with the Nationals.

Sartori's expertise includes knowledge and interpretation of the Basic Agreement, contract language, salary arbitration and First-Year Player Draft bonus recommendations and analysis. Sartori graduated with a finance and management information science degree from Boston College and is working on a master of business administration degree from the same institution.

"He is an intelligent, sharp guy, who has been an investment banker in his life and wanted to get into baseball," Rizzo said. "He has a wealth of knowledge in not only the construction of complex Major League contracts, but a good feel for the Basic Agreement rules, and has an expertise in arbitration and controlling the budget."

In other news: The Nationals have named Davey Johnson senior adviser to the general manager. Johnson was an adviser to then-general manager Jim Bowden in 2006. Johnson was the person who told the team to draft catcher Jesus Flores in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.