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The Phillies made a move that many felt to be inevitable yesterday when they announced that Ruben Amaro Jr.’s contract would not be extended, and assistant GM Scott Proefrock would become interim GM immediately as the team began its search for a new full-time general manager. Plenty has already been written about the decision and what it means for the Phillies’ future, and here are some early reactions and aftereffects in the wake of the fifth front-office shakeup we’ve seen in about two months’ time…
- Amaro’s firing was “only a matter of time,” writes ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, but he did well to position his successor for a quick turnaround with recent trades of Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley and others. Crasnick lists former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, former Cubs GM Jim Hendry and current Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo as potential candidates, also noting that former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington isn’t likely to pursue any GM opening at present, thus removing him from consideration. President-to-be Andy MacPhail told Crasnick that he isn’t limiting himself to targeting a specific “type” of GM (e.g. a young, analytically savvy candidate or a more traditional, scouting-based GM). Said MacPhail to Crasnick: “Let’s look at a wide spectrum of candidates. You might be surprised.”
- MacPhail said at yesterday’s press conference (via MLB.com’s Paul Hagen) that while he will, of course, have a role in roster decisions and general baseball operations — “…let’s face it, I’m not here for my marketing acumen,” he joked — any GM he hires will have a good deal of power. “I’ve had GMs under me before,” said MacPhail. “If you talk to them, I think they feel like they had a fair amount of autonomy, which I think is important to them to be able to do their job. They can’t be in short pants running back to the president every time they have to make a decision. … They should keep me apprised, but that is a balance I’m going to have to strike.”
- MacPhail feels that it would be ideal to have a new GM in place by the time the Phillies hold their organizational meetings on Oct. 26, writes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, but he admitted that said timeline may be a bit “ambitious.” Hiring an outside-the-box thinker is key to the hire, whether he comes from an analytical background or scouting background, writes Salisbury, though if the selection is of the latter variety, MacPhail will look to add to his analytics department in other ways. Proefrock, who has worked for MacPhail in the past (with the Orioles) will receive some consideration for the full-time position, per Salisbury, but Angels assistant GM Matt Klentak could be the early favorite. Klentak, whose name has been mentioned in connection with the Phillies’ presumed GM vacancy in the past, was the Orioles’ director of baseball ops while MacPhail served as president. Also named by Salisbury are Dipoto, Picollo, Hendry, Yankees AGM Billy Eppler, Giants scouting director John Barr and Angels pro scouting director Hal Morris.
- Partial owner John Middleton offered his take at yesterday’s presser as well, Salisbury notes, stating that he wants MacPhail to find a young version of himself. “And I say that because, 30 years ago, a very young Andy MacPhail was a general manager, a newly minted general manger at that,” said Middleton. “This guy was sitting in an office in Minneapolis and he was playing with mathematical, statistical, analytical tools. And he was using them to try to figure out how he could make better evaluations and therefore better personnel decisions. Andy was constantly pushing himself to get better.” (Salisbury has a second piece with further, more in-depth quotes from the press conference for those interested.)
- Interim manager Pete Mackanin has a good chance at returning in 2016, sans the “interim” label, writes MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. “I would encourage everybody not to make any assumptions about what’s happening today to have any domino impact on the manager,” said MacPhail. “…I know the tradition is that the GM picks his manager. I’ll just go full disclosure here, if that happens, and it takes you a while to find a GM and then he gets consumed the first month or two with a manager and coaching staff, look how much of the offseason we’ve lost. That’s a high price to pay.” MacPhail said the best way to measure a manager is by the energy, effort and enthusiasm he gets out of whatever talent is provided to him, and Mackanin has shined in that area thus far.
- MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets that he expects to see Dan Jennings’ name connected to the Phillies’ GM opening if he does not return to his former post as Marlins general manager following the season.
Full Story | 19 Comments | Categories: Andy MacPhail | Ben Cherington | Billy Eppler | Dan Jennings | Hal Morris | J.J. Picollo | Jerry Dipoto | Jim Hendry | John Barr | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Matt Klentak | Miami Marlins | New York Yankees | Pete Mackanin | Philadelphia Phillies | Ruben Amaro Jr. | San Francisco Giants | Scott Proefrock
Former Braves GM Frank Wren might be the front-runner for the Red Sox’ open GM position, but ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes looks at other potential candidates for the job now that the Sox have hired Dave Dombrowski to be their president of baseball operations. Given the Sox organization’s strong interest in analytics, some of Edes’ potential candidates, like former Cubs GM Jim Hendry and former Dodgers exec Ned Colletti, seem to me to be somewhat unlikely. Edes notes that Hendry worked with Dombrowski in the Marlins organization, however, and that past ties often help determine who gets hired. Here’s more on the Red Sox.
- Tim Britton of the Providence Journal looks at Dombrowski’s five best trades as GM of the Tigers and Marlins. Dombrowski’s 2007 acquisition of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for a package headed by Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin unsurprisingly tops the list, which also includes his less-remembered but still very helpful deals for Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco in Detroit and for Mike Lowell in Florida.
- Clay Buchholz, currently on the 60-day DL with a right elbow strain, is not currently throwing, Tom Layman of the Boston Herald writes. “He feels good enough to throw, but we are evaluating him daily to see where he’s at,” says interim manager Torey Lovullo, who adds that Buchholz has not had a setback. Lovullo says the Red Sox haven’t determined that Buchholz will be shut down for the season. It seemingly wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t pitch again this season, however. There’s only a bit more than a month left, it takes time to be able to pitch enough innings to start, and the Red Sox are out of the playoff race.
The Indians snapped an 11-game losing streak today with a 6-2 victory over the Twins. The 11-game skid matched a franchise record, set four times previously in Tribe history. Avoiding a new futility record is of small consolation to the Indians, who were in wild card contention before their streak and now can only look ahead to 2013.
Here's the latest from around the majors….
- The Red Sox scouted Roy Oswalt and expressed interest in him earlier this season but they never made an offer, the veteran right-hander tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Oswalt also said that he didn't insist to pitch for a team close to his home in Mississippi, noting that he was "pretty close" to signing with the Dodgers before finally settling on a contract with the Rangers.
- Michael Bourn "strikes out a lot and doesn't have a great on-base percentage. He's going to be 30 years old, and guys his age do not get faster. I'd be careful," a scout tells Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phillies have been rumored to be interested in signing Bourn as a free agent this winter, with the Nationals and Braves also in the mix for the center fielder.
- Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry has embraced being a special-assignment scout for the Yankees, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. Brian Cashman said that Hendry played key roles in the signing of first-round draft pick Ty Hensley and in the team's recent trade for Casey McGehee.
- The dispute between the Athletics and the Giants over San Jose territorial rights "might be the most difficult decision in baseball history because of the circumstances," an MLB executive tells Yahoo Sports' Steve Henson. The executive says there is some belief that the Giants could break protocol and sue the league if the A's are allowed to move.
- Tom Krasovic of Inside The Padres thinks the Padres made a good move in extending Carlos Quentin and Huston Street, though wonders if either player can "stay healthy in a heated pennant race."
Let's celebrate perhaps the last year of a six-team NL Central with spring training links for all the clubs…
- Pirates infielder Gustavo Nunez, who was taken from the Tigers in December's Rule 5 draft, was placed on the 60-day DL with a right ankle injury, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Side effects of the move: the Pirates buy some time before deciding whether to put Nunez on the 25-man roster, and a 40-man roster spot is opened for new acquisition A.J. Burnett.
- The Burnett acquisition creates competition at the back end of the Pirates' rotation, writes Biertempfel. He believes Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens will battle for the last spot, if everyone is healthy. Burnett talked to reporters this morning. One interesting news tidbit was his comment that one ever asked him about a potential Angels trade, though he confirmed he's not interested in the West Coast for family reasons. Unprompted, Burnett debunked the rumors about his wife's transportation preferences, saying with a smile, "She loves to fly."
- Ryan Madson's $8.5MM commitment with the Reds is spread out over three budgets, explains ESPN's Buster Olney: "$2MM during the 2012 season, $2MM in deferred salary on Nov. 1, 2012 — which is the start of the 2013 budget — and another $2MM in deferred salary, without interest, on Nov. 1, 2013, at the outset of the 2014 fiscal year. In the middle of that, they have a $2.5MM buyout on an $11 million option for 2013." On the topic of his one-year deal, Madson told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, "I take it as motivation to show people again, to prove that it's real. It's unfortunate it's that way but I'm not complaining. I'm very happy. I'm very privileged to have this opportunity, and I just want to run with it and show people that I will be OK."
- Righty Brett Tomko always wanted to come back to Cincinnati, he told John Fay of the Enquirer. Tomko said it's taken two years to recover from a 2009 pinched nerve.
- The Astros could have a new player at all nine positions for Opening Day 2012 compared to '11, writes Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- Astros 2010 supplemental first-round pick Mike Kvasnicka is moving back to catcher from third base, tweets Levine. Kvasnicka was recently ranked 25th among Astros prospects by Baseball America.
- "I'm not one to look back with animosity, however people or fans want to view my time there," former Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Hendry noted that it was "just nice" to be wanted by the Yankees, "the most storied franchise in sports." He's now with the Yankees as a special assistant to GM Brian Cashman, and isn't worrying about becoming a GM again.
- "They always say contract years turn out to be great years," Brewers starter Chris Narveson mentioned to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are entering contract years, while Randy Wolf has a $10MM club option for '13 with a $1.5MM buyout.
- Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright refuses to put a limit on his innings following 2011 Tommy John surgery, he told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, but she notes that GM John Mozeliak has said 200 frames is likely out of the question.
4:00pm: The Yankees announced that they have hired Hendry as a special assignment scout.
11:57am: The Yankees have hired former Cubs GM Jim Hendry as a special assistant, ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine reports. The Cubs dismissed Hendry in August, before hiring Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.
The Cubs won three division titles under Hendry (2003, '07, '08), but finished 71-91 in 2011 despite an Opening Day payroll of roughly $134MM. Overall, Chicago posted a 749-748 record under Hendry from 2002-11. MLBTR's Transaction Tracker details his moves, from the $91.5MM extension for Carlos Zambrano to his bargain signing of Kerry Wood last offseason.
Current D'Backs GM Kevin Towers worked for the Yankees after his tenure in San Diego ended, so this isn't the first time Brian Cashman has asked a former counterpart to join his baseball operations team. Hendry obtained a multiyear deal from the Yankees.
The Tigers extended their winning streak to 12 games with a comeback victory against the White Sox today. Here are this evening's links…
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that scouting director Tim Wilken is scheduled to meet with Cubs ownership about an extension similar to the four-year deal farm director Oneri Fleita recently signed. Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry recently met with commissioner Bud Selig and could resurface in a high-profile job before long, according to Wittenmyer.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes provided the latest Cubs updates this morning and we heard later in the day that the Reds intend to keep Walt Jocketty in Cincinnati.
- Kevin Millwood told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he hopes to pitch in the Major Leagues again next year. Rockies manager Jim Tracy says he can imagine Millwood returning to the organization in 2012.
- Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears that the Marlins released Mike Cameron after he got into a "verbal altercation" with a flight attendant that prompted the charter company to complain.
The Cubs dismissed long-time GM Jim Hendry yesterday, so let's round up the latest regarding the move…
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that Brian Cashman won't be a candidate for the Cubs' GM opening, but the position will be very coveted in the industry.
- Manager Mike Quade isn't concerning himself with his future right now, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. It's common for a new GM to appoint his own manager, raising plenty of questions about Quade's role with the team beyond the 2011 season.
- MLB.com's Carrie Muskat provides a timeline of Hendry's tenure with the team, starting with his hiring in July 2002 and ended with his suspension of Carlos Zambrano last week.
- Bruce Miles of The Daily Herald says Hendry's tenure was a mixed bag. He did well in trades (Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Kenny Lofton), but not so well on the free agent market (Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome).
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says whoever takes over as the permanent replacement for Hendry will "inherit a potential gold mine." Owner Tom Ricketts is willing to spend to win, and there's always "the promise of deification should the new GM actually win a World Series."
MLBTR's Steve Adams also contributed to this post.
The Cubs dismissed GM Jim Hendry earlier today, cutting ties with the third longest tenured GM in the National League even though he's under contract through 2012. The team was one game better than .500 during his tenure, going 749-748. Let's round up the latest reactions, news, and notes surrounding the move…
- A reminder of the criteria for the next GM as laid out by owner Tom Ricketts, who will conduct the search: a commitment to player development, a stronger analytical background, and someone who's been in a winning culture and has a track record of success.
- "[Ricketts] told me he felt we needed a fresh start and he was going to look outside the organization," said interim GM Randy Bush to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "I really appreciated his honesty, to be honest."
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman shot down speculation about his candidacy for the job, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter links). Cashman said that New York "has been home for quite some time," and he'd like that relationship to continue when his contract is up after the season.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams said he would give assistant GM Rick Hahn the highest level of recommendation if asked about him by Ricketts, reports Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Hahn was one of MLBTR's top 20 GM candidates.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden put together a list of potential GM replacements, including several names that appear on our list.
- Hendry admitted to reporters, including David Kaplan, that he was actually fired on July 22nd. He stayed on to help the team get all of their draft picks signed before the August 15th deadline because owner Tom Ricketts asked him to (Twitter links). Ricketts told Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune that "[Hendry's] been terrific, [it's] a credit to his character."
- In a video for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal says that Hendry was done in by the bad contracts given to players like Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, and Milton Bradley even though he had to spend the money at behest of the team's previous owner, the Tribune Company.
- The Chicago Sun-Times listed Hendry's highs and lows, a collection of the best and worst moments during his tenure as GM.
The Cubs announced that they have dismissed general manager Jim Hendry and named assistant GM Randy Bush interim GM. Hendry was promoted to the GM job in the summer of 2002 and was under contract through 2012. Owner Tom Ricketts praised Hendry for his years of work, but says he's now looking for new voices.
“It is time for a fresh approach in our baseball leadership and our search begins immediately for our next general manager,” Ricketts said.
The Cubs won three division titles under Hendry (2003, '07, '08), but they're currently 54-70, 19 games out of first place in the NL Central despite an Opening Day payroll of roughly $134MM. The 56-year-old departs as the third-longest tenured GM in the National League, behind Brian Sabean of the Giants and Dan O'Dowd of the Rockies. Over the course of Hendry's tenure, the Cubs were 749-748, one game above .500.
Bush has been the Cubs' assistant GM for the past five seasons and also has experience as a special assistant to Hendry and as the Cubs' minor league hitting coordinator. The 52-year-old was the head baseball coach at the University of New Orleans from 2000-04.
MLBTR's Transaction Tracker details Hendry's transactions, from the $91.5MM extension for Carlos Zambrano to his bargain signing of Kerry Wood last winter. MLBTR's list of GM candidates includes 20-plus names, including some who could end up on Chicago's shortlist.
Chicago sportscaster David Kaplan broke the news (on Twitter).
Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano could use a change of scenery, as Jon Heyman explains at SI.com. One rival GM considers the right-hander a fourth starter, which matches Tim Dierkes’ assessment of Zambrano from yesterday. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors, starting with another note on the Cubs…
- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has had good things to say about GM Jim Hendry, but Heyman hears that Hendry is still “at risk” of losing his job. Despite a weekend report to the contrary, Hendry doesn't have any guarantees.
- The Marlins demoted Logan Morrison to the minors because Marlins officials, including manager Jack McKeon, believe the outfielder needs to show more maturity and be less outspoken. It doesn't appear that Morrison will file a grievance.
- One GM called first overall pick Gerrit Cole a “slam dunk” number one starter, Heyman reports. The Pirates signed the former UCLA right-hander to an $8MM deal on Monday.
- The Yankees won’t release Jorge Posada, but it appears that he’ll have to earn a spot on their playoff roster.