DEC. 8: Byrnes has decided to stay with the Dodgers, Jayson Stark of The Athletic tweets. Hill is among those still in the running.
DEC. 4, 10:02pm: Levine is no longer a candidate for the Philadelphia job, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. He’s content to stay in Minnesota.
3:56pm: The Twins have given the Phillies permission to interview Levine, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets.
10:12am: It’s been two months since Matt Klentak stepped down as the Phillies’ general manager, but there’s still no resolution to the team’s front-office search. A group of potential candidates is coming more clearly into focus, however, as NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reports that Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes and former Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill are in line for second interviews. Additionally, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports (via Twitter) that Twins general manager Thad Levine is a “significant” candidate for the Phillies.
Per Salisbury, the Phils aren’t seeking a general manager but are instead focused on hiring an executive who could assume the president of baseball operations role in their organization, then hire a GM of his own. By that criteria, each of Byrnes, Hill and Levine fit the bill. Byrnes, in addition to his current role with the Dodgers, is a former general manager of both the Padres and Diamondbacks. Hill, of course, held the president of baseball ops title in Miami.
Levine was an assistant GM with the Rangers before being hired by the Twins as general manager back in 2016. He’s currently No. 2 on Minnesota’s hierarchy behind president of baseball ops Derek Falvey, so if the Twins indeed allow Levine to interview (or have already allowed him to do so), he could be hired away given that the president role in Philadelphia would be a promotion. Of at least minor note, Levine is a Virginia native who played college ball at Haverford College — about 25 miles from Citizens Bank Park. Of course, that was more than 25 years ago, so those local ties may be little more than anecdotal at this point.
There’s still no clear timeline as to when the Phillies might finalize a decision — nor is it even certain that they’ll make a hire this winter at all. Assistant general manager Ned Rice was elevated to GM status on an interim basis while the team conducted its search, and Phillies president Andy MacPhail suggested more than a month ago that Rice could very well hold that title into 2021 if the team doesn’t find a candidate to its liking.