As the Philadelphia Phillies look to replace former general manager Matt Klentak, a familiar team executive will have his say in who the team should hire.
Phillies president Andy MacPhail will remain with the organization and will be involved in the hunt for Klentak’s replacement, according to the team’s owner.
“He’ll definitely be involved in the search process,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton said regarding MacPhail on Saturday via Zoom. “I’m going to want his input. I’m going to want other people’s input, too.”
The GM position opened up after Klentak stepped down from it, and was reassigned to another role.
MacPhail, the former president of the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs and GM of the Minnesota Twins, began his current role with the Phillies in June of 2015.
MacPhail became team president just a few months before Klentak joined the Phillies, and was involved in the hiring of the former GM.
As with Klentak, the Phillies have never posted a winning season or made the postseason under MacPhail.
Middleton had praise for the free-agent acquisitions that the team has made since 2015. Under Klentak and MacPhail, the Phillies have made splashes with signings such as Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler, among other free agents that have contributed to the team.
The issue, one that Middleton said has hurt the Phillies “for 100 years,” has been the team’s inability to evaluate young players and get enough contribution from its homegrown prospects at the major-league level.
“We haven’t produced the talent yet. … It was the No. 1 mandate I gave Andy and Matt when they came in,” Middleton said. “We’ve improved. We’re better than where we were, but we aren’t nearly good enough and I think that’s what hit us.”
Despite Middleton’s acknowledgement of the Phillies’ failures under the president and general manager since they were both hired, MacPhail has avoided the same fate as Klentak.
MacPhail’s current contract extension keeps him with the organization through 2021. For the time being, MacPhail is still part of the Phillies’ front office, but it appears that could change in the not-so-distant future. Middleton and MacPhail have had discussions about the team’s operations once MacPhail is no longer president.
“He and I have been talking for two years … about what the world looks like when he steps down,” the managing partner said. “We’re not sure exactly when he’s going to do that, but it’s a conversation that he and I have had multiple times, and we’re talking about it even now.”
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