Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail met with media members (including Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com) on Friday to discuss some of the key issues surrounding the club. For one, MacPhail had to address his own future with the franchise. The longtime executive confirmed that 2021 will be his last year in the majors, adding that it’s possible he’ll step down before the season ends.
For now, MacPhail is part of the Phillies’ search for a new front office leader. He doesn’t object to hiring a different president of baseball ops, though it may be quite some time before the Phillies bring in a new general manager to replace the reassigned Matt Klentak. In fact, it’s “likely” that interim GM Ned Rice will remain in the role in 2021, Zolecki relays.
No matter who holds the GM spot next year, Phillies fans surely want to see improvement after a ninth straight season without a playoff berth. They may be able to bolster their roster this winter via the open market, but MacPhail indicated that “he doesn’t expect any big moves in free agency until later in the process,” Lauber tweets. That could bode poorly for the Phillies’ chances of re-signing their No. 1 free agent, catcher J.T. Realmuto, who’s arguably the best position player available and someone who could sign one of the richest deals ever for someone at his position. Philadelphia does still have interest in bringing back, as you’d expect, though it seems unlikely to happen should the team avoid an aggressive offseason.