The future of the Phillies front office has been in flux since general manager Matt Klentak stepped down in the first week of October. Since that time, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and interim GM Ned Rice have been leading day-to-day operations, an arrangement that reportedly could continue through the end of next season.
However, Philadelphia expects to begin interviewing potential candidates next week, reports Jayson Stark of the Athletic. It seems the Phillies are planning to make a pair of hires: a president of baseball operations to lead the department, and a new general manager to serve as that individual’s top lieutenant.
That kind of arrangement has become increasingly common throughout the sport, but the Phillies are leaving open the possibility of taking a less typical approach to the hiring process. The Phils would unsurprisingly prefer to hire the team president before turning to the GM search, Stark notes. However, that’s not a mandate, as Stark suggests the organization could hire the GM first if circumstances dictate.
That’d be an odd course of action- one would think any incoming president would want to have a say in the GM hiring process- but it’s apparently not out of the question. It also remains possible, Stark says, the organization elects to halt the hiring process midway through and allow the MacPhail-Rice pairing to continue to run the club next year. (MacPhail is generally expected to retire after the 2021 season, but it’s possible a more immediate restructure leads him to step away sooner).
Assuming the Phillies do commit to finalizing the front office this winter, they could opt to pursue a number of different candidates. The organization is leaving open the possibility of pursuing high-profile executives with past experience leading baseball ops, as well as considering “rising stars” types similar to recent Angels hire Perry Minasian, Stark adds. There remains plenty of uncertainty regarding the Phils’ ultimate course of action, but it seems the process will kick into gear in the coming days.