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Report: Phillies to ‘come after Theo Epstein aggressively’

The Phillies are set to make a run at Theo Epstein despite his intention to take a break this season, according to 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine.

It was announced earlier on Tuesday that Epstein, 46, is stepping down from his role as president of baseball operations with the Chicago Cubs. While he would be a clear fit with the Phillies, Jeff Passan of ESPN obtained a memo that Epstein penned in which he says that while he intends to lead a baseball team again, he plans to take next summer off.

Theo Epstein is parting ways with the Cubs. (Arturo Pardavila III)

Levine’s report is not the first to link the Phillies to Epstein, but is the first to indicate that his intent to take a year off does not eliminate them from the running. Epstein, who has won multiple championships as an executive in Boston and Chicago, makes sense as a target for Phillies ownership and was linked to them, along with the Seattle Mariners, by RADIO.COM MLB Insider Jon Heyman.

Of course, the Phillies could wait a year if they are truly intent on hiring Epstein and he stays true to his wish to take the season off. But they have a core of players in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins that are in their primes now, and the team would be ill-advised to punt on an entire season in hopes of hiring a specific candidate in a year.

The Phillies have been linked to other candidates and could move forward with their search without Epstein. Jayson Stark of The Athletic recently reported that the Phillies have interest in former Miami Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, although SNY‘s Andy Martino reported that the Mets have also interviewed him for their president of baseball operations position. Heyman said that the Phillies might also have interest in Tampa Bay Rays general manager Erik Neander, but The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal indicated he is not interested in leaving Tampa Bay.


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