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Phillies hire Anirudh Kilambi from Rays as assistant general manager

Citizens Bank Park has been home to the Phillies since 2004. (Tim Kelly/Phillies Nation)

The Philadelphia Phillies are hiring Anirudh Kilambi to be an assistant general manager, as first reported Thursday by ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Kilambi comes to Philadelphia from Tampa Bay, where he was an assistant director of research and development for the Rays before a recent promotion to director of decision science.

Kilambi will run the Phillies research and development department as well as the team’s “use of data in all aspects of organizational decision making,” a team statement said. The 27-year-old was one of the figures noted by The Tampa Bay Times as instrumental in discovering under-the-radar talent— particularly on the pitching side — that helped the Rays to 100 wins despite mounting injuries in the 2021 season.

Kilambi’s tenure with the Rays dates back to 2015, when he began as an intern with their research and development department. His Rays tenure doesn’t quite overlap with that of current Phillies general manager Sam Fuld, but each’s experience in the Rays organization (Fuld played there from 2011-13) helped create their perceptions as promising, forward-thinking executives with analytical approaches to baseball operations. That kind of approach is something the Phillies have lacked as compared to the rest of Major League Baseball in recent years, though hires such as Kilambi’s and new director of player development Preston Mattingly’s signal a shift in that direction.

“Ani’s skillset and personality provide us exactly what we were looking for when we started this search,” Fuld said in a statement announcing the hire. “His critical-thinking, humility, and passion for the game are standout qualities that position him really well for this role. We are delighted to bring him on.”

Tampa Bay’s ability to annually churn out winning teams despite payrolls that consistently rank at the bottom of the league figures to have played into Kilambi’s appeal — and his ability to learn under longtime executive Dave Dombrowksi may have him poised to be a mainstay in Philadelphia’s front office for the foreseeable future.

“We are thrilled to bring Ani on board,” Dombrowski said. “He possesses a terrific work ethic and a collaborative and creative mind that will serve the Phillies greatly in the years ahead.” 


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