Barring everything short of divine intervention, it appears that things are trending towards the Philadelphia Phillies missing the postseason for the ninth straight year. With that, a change at general manager may come.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic says that based on discussions he’s had with those in the know, Matt Klentak’s seat is scalding.
“If the Phillies don’t make the playoffs, Klentak is expected to be let go early next week; if they do earn a postseason berth, the Phillies will probably need to get past the wild card series to save his job.“
We won’t spend time going over scenarios about how many things the Phillies need to break their way over the final two days of the season to make the playoffs. After Friday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, FanGraphs says that the Phillies have just a 28.8% chance to make the postseason. Their odds to make the postseason and win a series? They’re miniscule.
Perhaps the only surprising part of this report is that Bowden suggests that Klentak could be dismissed as quickly as early next week. Last offseason, managing partner John Middleton spent over 10 days weighing the future of then-manager Gabe Kapler, before deciding to fire him. General manager is a more important position, so if you were deliberate in one process, you would think you would be in the other as well.
That said, having a general manager in place early in the offseason is obviously more important than having a manager. There may just not be time to spent a week-and-a-half thinking over the future of Klentak and still have a new general manager in place in time to make key decisions this offseason.
What will be interesting to see is whether president Andy MacPhail – who led the search that culminated in the hiring of Klentak in October of 2015 – gets another chance to pick a general manager. It’s unclear if the 67-year-old would want to move forward without Klentak.
If the Phillies are about to embark on a search for a new general manager, one would think that someone with connections to the New York Yankees might be the most likely pick. Both manager Joe Girardi and scouting director Brian Barber are wrapping up their first seasons in the Phillies organization, but had extended stints in the Bronx. Given that Girardi and Barber likely aren’t going anywhere, you would think that the Phillies would like to pick someone that is comfortable working with them.
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