2:16pm: The Phillies plan to name MacPhail as their top baseball decision-maker within the next week or so, Heyman writes in a full column. MacPhail’s title is expected to be named as the new team president, or something similar to that title. Upon MacPhail’s hiring, Gillick would shift to a consulting role similar to the one he held before assuming presidential duties in the wake of former president David Montgomery’s health concerns.
1:54pm: The Phillies plan to appoint former Twins/Cubs/Orioles executive Andy MacPhail to a key spot within their front office in the near future, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com first reported earlier this month that the Phils were eyeing MacPhail as a potential key decision-maker in their front office.
It’s not clear specifically what role MacPhail will fill, but 77-year-old team president Pat Gillick has stated in the past that he doesn’t envision remaining in the role for the long-term. (Gillick also recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Brookover that he expected the team to make a front office hire in the near future.) It seems unlikely that MacPhail would replace GM Ruben Amaro Jr. at this stage, though he could enter the organization in a fashion similar to that of Tony La Russa in Arizona last season. La Russa was named “Chief Baseball Officer” of the D-Backs last May and oversaw the front office throughout the summer, weighing in on baseball operations decisions before ultimately deciding to replace then-GM Kevin Towers in the offseason.
MacPhail has spent a significant amount of time heading baseball operations departments over his career as an executive. He served as the Twins’ GM during the team’s World Series victories in 1987 and 1991, and he spent nearly a decade as the president of the Cubs following that position. MacPhail left Chicago to become the Orioles’ president of baseball operations, where a number of moves that he made served as the foundation for the Orioles’ current contender.
MacPhail was heading Baltimore’s baseball ops department when the team traded Erik Bedard to Seattle in exchange for a package of prospects highlighted by franchise center fielder Adam Jones and right-hander Chris Tillman. He also acquired J.J. Hardy from the Twins in exchange for a pair of fungible minor league relievers and picked up Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter from the Rangers in exchange for Koji Uehara.