The Phillies hired Matt Klentak as their general manager before 2016. They were amid a four-year playoff drought then, and they haven’t gone to the postseason since. Even in 2020, a year with expanded playoffs, the Phillies finished just 28-32 and didn’t go anywhere, so Klentak’s job security seems to be in question. With that in mind, Phillies owner John Middleton is deciding what to do with Klentak, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports. Meanwhile, a team source told Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the club’s likely to retain Klentak.
The Phillies haven’t had a single above-.500 campaign under Klentak, whose clubs’ best season came during an 81-81 effort in 2019. Manager Gabe Kapler then fell on the sword, leading Klentak and the rest of Philly management to replace him with Joe Girardi, but the bottom-line results certainly weren’t better this past regular season. The Phillies never got more than four games over .500 in 2020, and they finished with seven losses in their final eight games en route to another failed campaign.
There’s no doubt the Klentak-led Phillies have come up short of expectations; to Klentak’s credit, though, he has been in charge since they’ve brought in some of their premier players. Outfielder Bryce Harper, who signed what was then a record contract worth $330MM over 13 years, joined the club on Klentak’s watch heading into 2019. The Phillies also added well-compensated veterans such as Zack Wheeler, Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius in free agency, and they’ve traded for the likes of J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura. For whatever reason, though, those pickups haven’t led to the Phillies earning another playoff berth.
Regardless of whether Klentak remains at the helm after this season, the Phillies will have to work to keep Realmuto and Gregorius – a pair of pending free agents. The Phillies are in for a difficult winter as they try to keep those two, who will be among the best available players at their positions.