- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Washington Nationals extended Dana Brown’s contract as director of scouting through the 2006 season.

Brown, who just completed his fourth season with the franchise, is responsible for drafting National League All-Star closer Chad Cordero in 2003 and phenom third baseman Ryan Zimmerman this June.

The Nationals already had refused to allow the New York Mets to speak with Brown for a vacancy in their organization.

“I believe that Dana Brown is one of the best young amateur talent evaluators, especially when it comes to pitching, in major league baseball,” Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said in a statement. “Recently, we denied another organization the opportunity to interview Dana because we view him as a vital component of this franchise as we build for the future.”

Brown’s contract extension comes one day after the Nationals fired farm director Adam Wogan.

Brown, 38, selected right-hander Cordero 20th overall out of Cal State Fullerton. This season Cordero led the majors with a franchise-record 47 saves. At 23, Cordero became the youngest closer in major league history to register a 40-save season.

Meanwhile, Zimmerman, the fourth overall selection in the first draft since the franchise moved from Montreal, hit .397 (23-for-58) with 10 doubles and six RBI in just 20 September games with the Nationals. Zimmerman, who has drawn comparisons from organization officials to Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Brooks Robinson, most likely will be Washington’s starting third baseman when the club opens spring training in February at its Viera, Fla., complex.

With both Cordero and Zimmerman, the Nationals were the only club in baseball that had a pair of first-round selections from the last three drafts on their season-ending roster.

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