If you’re initial reaction to the Philadelphia Phillies reportedly nearing the hire of Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations was to think that the organization believes they are close to consistently contending, you had good reason to come to that conclusion.
But despite Dombrowski’s history, that may not be the takeaway here.
Matt Gelb of The Athletic says that “the Phillies, according to sources, have made it clear to Dombrowski that they do not view this as a quick fix.”
Perhaps then, while the Phillies won’t attempt to bottom out in 2021, they won’t push all the way in to attempt to win what will be a heavily-contested National League East next season. That may mean not re-signing J.T. Realmuto and/or Didi Gregorius, or mounting an aggressive attempt to land free-agent reliever Liam Hendriks, though that’s just speculation on my part.
Gelb also suggested that part of the early days of Dombrowski on the job could be him getting the lay of the land, and deciding what changes need to be made within the organization to assure that the Phillies’ nine-year postseason drought isn’t still a thing in a few years.
It will be interesting if Dombrowski is ultimately hired to see what happens to those currently in the front office. Current team president Andy MacPhail will almost certainly step aside, though he could potentially be retained as an advisor. Former general manager Matt Klentak was reassigned within the organization in early October, but managing partner John Middleton admitted at that time that Klentak remaining in the organization may not be a long-term arrangement. Perhaps the most interesting person to monitor is Klentak’s former right-hand man, Ned Rice, who is currently the interim general manager. Dombrowski could keep Rice in that role as he adjusts to the organization, or he could dismiss him as well and search for a full-time replacement. It’s also possible that Dombrowski doesn’t hire a general manager at all.
Quite a bit hangs in the balance currently with the Phillies, but it does appear the organization is emerging with some semblance of a plan for how to proceed.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- Phillies Offseason Primer: Payroll, Free Agents And Trades
- All-Time Phillies Great Dick Allen Dies At 78
- Multiple Insiders Confirm Phillies Did Talk Zack Wheeler Trade With Other Teams
- Phillies Have Received Trade Inquires On Nola, Hoskins; No Indication Team Will Move Either
- The Mets May Not Be A Major Player For J.T. Realmuto After All
- How The Phillies Went From ‘Sleeping Giants’ To Disappointing In The Blink Of An Eye
- Can Jimmy Rollins Make The Hall Of Fame?
- Girardi: ‘There Are 30 Teams That Would Love To Have J.T., And We’re At The Top Of The List
- 6 Phillies Appear On 2021 Hall Of Fame Ballot
- 2021 Is A Pivotal Year On The Hall Of Fame Ballot For Scott Rolen