The Marlins’ front office arrangement remains unresolved, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Dan Jennings isn’t listed on the team’s official website and hasn’t been working as the team’s general manager, per the report. It’s not yet clear where things are headed, but as Morosi notes, Jennings is under contract for the next three years in Miami.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- Meanwhile, the Blue Jays now face an increasingly interesting situation with their own general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. The crux of the matter isn’t money, says Davidi, who writes that Anthopoulos “is believed to have a strong extension offer on the table.” Instead, it’s a matter of resolving the authority structure between Anthopoulos and new president Mark Shapiro. Per Davidi, working that out is the key; if that can’t be done, a departure is “a real possibility.”
- The Phillies finally installed a new baseball operations leader by hiring Matt Klentak, and the organization now seems largely set up to begin moving back toward contention in earnest. As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes, the organization’s newly accessible leader, owner John Middleton, wants to make the team a consistent presence at the top of the standings. He acknowledged that the Phils “didn’t recognize early enough and act upon that recognition that the window had closed.” Now, the work to open a new window will start with a new philosophy. “The word that [president Andy MacPhail] has talked about and the word [Klentak] has talked about today is ’discipline,'” Middleton said. “So I think you’re right. I think you have to have a goal and you have to have a road map to achieve it, and you have to be disciplined to know where you are on that road and therefore use that to dictate your decisions and what you do. That’s what I think is going to be the key to success. The other part of this is being objective about yourself and your performances.”
- Of course, the Phillies’ front office decisionmaking process is an important matter in and of itself, even after the hiring, and CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury lays out where things stand in that regard. MacPhail said that he will vest substantial authority in Klentak, even though his job is also baseball-focused, and both men emphasized that they are looking for balance in all regards (including, notably, between analytics and scouting in player assessment). Klentak also noted that he sees a big opportunity in the club’s worst-in-baseball finish last year. “There’s a really strong foundation of players in this organization, some of whom are in the big leagues and some of whom are coming,” he said. “I think that, coupled with the first pick in the draft, the largest international bonus pool this year, the first priority in the waiver period, the first pick in the Rule 5 draft, etc., creates some inherent advantages at least in the short term that are incredible. And I think if we do our jobs right, we will turn this into a winner and it’s going to be fun for a long time.”
- Former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has joined Columbia University’s Sports Management Program as an “executive in residence,” according to a press release. As Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes, the move isn’t as surprising as it might seem at first glance.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees tried to hire Cherington following his resignation from the division-rival Red Sox in August. “I reached out to him,” Cashman told Sherman. “I have a lot of respect for him, his integrity and how he did his job.” Sherman notes that Cherington could have conceivably become an assistant GM when Billy Eppler left to go become the Angels’ GM, but Eppler’s responsibilities go to top scout Tim Naehring, as has been previously reported. Cherington will eventually join a front office, but for the time being, his role at Columbia makes sense, as his wife and children were living in suburban New York even while he was Boston’s GM.
- In another interesting GM transition, former Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has taken the unusual step of moving to the Red Sox as their first base coach, and Tim Britton of the Providence Journal delves into the reasoning for the move. As manager John Farrell noted, both men have some similarities in having moved from the front office to the field, though obviously the skipper made that move much earlier in his post-playing career. “I guess it’s unusual but for me, I’ve always had an itch to be back on the field,” Amaro said. “It’s always been something I’ve thought about quite a bit, and I was afforded a wonderful opportunity…. Had it not been the Red Sox, frankly I probably would not be doing this.”
- The Angels have added former big league third baseman Eric Chavez as a special assistant, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported earlier today in his latest notes column. Chavez had served in that capacity last year for the Yankees, working there with new Halos GM Billy Eppler. It sounds as if the 37-year-old will have wide-ranging job responsibilities, including working with the club’s younger players and performing various scouting-related functions.