The Phillies have officially begun their GM search, as Andy MacPhail told reporters, including MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, that they’ve interviewed one candidate. MacPhail, unsurprisingly, declined to specify the candidate in question, though he said the goal is still to have a new GM in place by the team’s organizational meetings, which begin on Oct. 26.
A few more notes on the Phils…
- Via Zolecki, MacPhail also said the Phillies aren’t likely to spend on top-tier free agents this winter, though he didn’t completely shut the door. “[D]o you really want to commit after you’ve just been in that pool and suffered from it?” MacPhail asked rhetorically. “Do you really want to commit at this stage? The only caveat I give you is that if there’s a unique opportunity out there, I wouldn’t want to preclude it from happening … particularly when you consider that once we get to ’17 we are really pretty footloose and fancy free.” The Phillies have no contracts guaranteed beyond the 2017 season.
- That, of course, doesn’t mean the Phillies will sit on their hands. Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News was also on hand and offers additional quotes from MacPhail, who does believe the Phillies “absolutely” feel a need to be active, just not necessarily on top-of-the-market names. The veteran exec made it clear that he doesn’t feel obligated to spend simply because this year’s free agent crop of starting pitchers is deep. “I know everyone can say, oh, my God, next year’s class isn’t as good as this year’s class,” said MacPhail. “Let’s see a year from now. And it may come in the form of making a trade. You don’t know. But I think the important thing is to do it when that foundation is there that merits it and supports it.”
- MacPhail also said that he expects Ryan Howard to be with the team in Spring Training next season, per Lawrence. He left open the possibility that an opportunity could present itself which may benefit Howard and the Phillies, but stated that for now, Howard is “somebody we have a vested interest in getting back healthy and getting him to Clearwater.”
- The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jake Kaplan writes that Phillies players are excited by the news that manager Pete Mackanin was extended through the 2016 season. Kaplan offers quotes from a number of young players, including Ken Giles, Jerad Eickhoff, Aaron Nola and Cameron Rupp, who have thoroughly enjoyed playing for Mackanin, whose new contract also contains a club option for the 2017 campaign.