Matt Klentak is under contract with the Philadelphia Phillies through the 2022 season, so when he “stepped down” as general manager in early October, it didn’t mean that he entirely left the organization.
New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who essentially amounts to Klentak’s successor, was asked in his introductory press conference Friday what the role of the former general manager will be moving forward.
“I spoke to Matt yesterday, actually,” Dombrowski said. “I’ve known Matt for years…I have a great deal of respect for him…he’s a very smart individual…he said he would help however he possibly could. I talked to him about some things, and I said ‘you know, I would love to consult with you some more and I’d be happy to talk to you.’ So yes, I’ll use Matt, I’ll see what he feels comfortable doing.
“It was interesting because Matt said ‘Dave, I want the Phillies to win. I want to see them win, anything I can do to help you, I want to do. So just ask me anything.’ So I will talk to Matt in the future, what role he’ll fill I’ll guess we’ll wait and see who is doing what at this point, which I don’t know of everybody yet. But yeah, I have a great deal of respect for Matt, and we hope to have him part of the decision-making process when we talk about things.”
Some will get tripped up on Dombrowski’s final sentence in his answer, though there are so few people that have extensive experience leading a front office. As Dombrowski gets a feel for the organization, it’s not surprising to hear he may bounce some ideas off of Klentak. He’ll probably do the same thing with Andy MacPhail, Pat Gillick, Charlie Manuel and others who have roles within the organization. Make no mistake, though, it will be Dombrowski leading the front office and making key organizational decisions moving forward.
At the press conference announcing a change was being at general manager made in early October, managing partner John Middleton acknowledged that Klentak may not be long for the organization, but that a role would be found for him as long as he’s here (presumably the length of his contract).
Klentak last spoke to the media in late September. A typically very friendly person, it’s entirely possible that we won’t ever hear Klentak’s thoughts on the successes and failures of his tenure. Certainly, it seems unlikely he’ll ever talk to the media as long as he is still employed by the Phillies.
But, in some form, Klentak will continue on in the organization.
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