Temporary aspect a deterrent

WASHINGTON -- Bob Watson, former general manager of the Yankees and current director of Major League Baseball's on-field operations, has turned down an offer to be GM of the transplanted Expos.

MLB president Robert DuPuy offered him the job Wednesday, Watson told The Washington Post, but he declined.

"I'm not coming that way," Watson told the Post, "and that is final."

Watson indicated that the probable temporary aspect of the job contributed to his decision. The team is owned by the other 29 major league franchises, who are looking for a buyer.

The eventual owner could decide to replace staff that MLB puts in place.

One potential temporary, and longer term, candidate for GM is Pat Gillick, who filled that position in Toronto, Baltimore and Seattle. Gillick said recently that he would take the GM job with the former Montreal franchise even if a new owner would replace him.

Even as a temporary position, the job is important to the franchise. While the new owner might not be determined until after the new year, roster decisions must be made starting immediately.

Watson played 19 seasons in the majors, was GM of the Astros in 1994 and '95 and of the Yankees in 1996 and '97, and since 2002 has been baseball's disciplinarian.