Philadelphia Phillies – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-10-23T05:55:16Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Joe Girardi The Reported Favorite In Phillies’ Managerial Search]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177750 2019-10-22T21:21:32Z 2019-10-22T21:10:41Z Oct. 22: Girardi has emerged as the favorite in the Phillies search for a new manager, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen hears the same.

A match with the Phillies is not a foregone conclusion, however; Girardi is undergoing a second interview with the Mets today, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link), so he’s still very much in the running for one of Philadelphia’s division rivals. There’s been no indication of a contract offer to this point. Even if (or when) the Phils do make an offer, it’s possible that Girardi will prefer one of the other openings for which he’s interviewed. He’s been tied most prominently to the vacancies in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, and it appears increasingly likely that he’ll be back in a big league dugout in 2020.

Oct. 21: Phillies owner John Middleton had the determining vote in the team’s decision to fire manager Gabe Kapler, and he could wield his power again in finding a new skipper. Middleton’s said to be “leaning toward” Joe Girardi as the choice, while other members of the Phillies’ hierarchy are fans of fellow finalist Buck Showalter, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. There’s no word on whether Dusty Baker, who has also been in the mix, is still a candidate for the job.

Girardi, reportedly the favorite for the position, had his second interview with the club Monday. Unlike Kapler, a first-time MLB skipper at the time of his hiring, Girardi brings a wealth of experience in the role. The 55-year-old oversaw the NL East rival Marlins back in 2006, when he led a low-payroll club to 78 wins en route to NL Manager of the Year honors. The dysfunctional Marlins fired Girardi in the wake of that season, though, and after a year off, he accepted the Yankees’ managerial job entering 2008. Girardi, who ultimately remained in the position through 2017, helped the Yankees to six playoff berths. In Girardi’s crowning achievement as New York’s manager, the team knocked off his next potential employer, Philadelphia, in the 2009 World Series.

Showalter, seemingly Girardi’s main competition, also comes with significant experience as a manager (20 years, to be exact). As of last week, Middleton was reportedly collecting information from players on Showalter. There’s already quite a bit of familiarity between Showalter and key members of the Phillies’ front office, making it unsurprising they’re interested in hiring the 63-year-old. Showalter last managed in Baltimore, where now-Philly president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and general manager Matt Klentak worked before landing their current gigs. MacPhail hired Showalter to steer the Orioles, but it doesn’t appear the two will be reuniting if Girardi truly is Middleton’s No. 1 target.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Pitchers Recently Electing Free Agency]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177773 2019-10-22T15:43:42Z 2019-10-22T14:56:58Z Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.

We already rounded up the position players. Now, here are the pitchers that have recently taken to the open market, along with their now-former teams (via the International League and PCL transactions pages):

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Position Players Recently Electing Free Agency]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177772 2019-10-22T14:43:24Z 2019-10-22T12:06:20Z Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.

Here are the position players that have recently taken to the open market, along with their now-former teams (via the International League and PCL transactions pages):

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Girardi Meeting With Phillies For Second Time]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177708 2019-10-21T14:05:05Z 2019-10-21T14:05:05Z Joe Girardi is in Philadelphia today for his second meeting with ownership, and it’s his job to lose, tweets ESPN1000’s David Kaplan. The Phillies have no qualms about their ability to compete in 2020, and Girardi certainly fits the bill of a guy who’s been there before – both in terms of competition and level of scrutiny. Ownership and the front office weren’t necessarily aligned in their decision to part ways with Gabe Kapler, and it seems clear that ownership’s desire for a veteran hand is top-of-mind in their current search. Whomever takes the role will have an expectation to compete right away. Easier said than done in a division with the Braves, Nationals, and Mets also in gung-ho win-now mode. Let’s take a look elsewhere on the coaching carousel…

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Phillies Close To Hiring New Amateur Scouting Director]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177597 2019-10-19T17:38:28Z 2019-10-19T17:35:48Z
  • The Phillies still have a manager’s seat to fill, but they appear closer to hiring their next Amateur Scouting Director, per Jim Salisbury of NBCSPhilly (via Twitter). Brian Barber, the national crosschecker for the Yankees, appears to be their primary target. Former scouting director Johnny Almarez stepped down in September after serving in the role since October 2014, citing personal reasons.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Phillies, Buck Showalter]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177581 2019-10-19T05:11:24Z 2019-10-19T05:11:24Z Phillies owner John Middleton had the final say on last week’s firing of manager Gabe Kapler, whom he ditched despite disagreements from the club’s front office and some of its prominent players. Middleton polled members of the Phillies’ roster in regards to Kapler, and though the skipper received favorable reviews from the likes of Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, it wasn’t enough to save his job.

    Now, with the Phillies looking for a replacement for Kapler, Middleton’s reportedly surveying players again. This time, he’s seeking input on longtime manager Buck Showalter, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. With Middleton having indicated general manager Matt Klentak is leading the hiring process, it’s notable the owner seems to be taking on an active role in a coaching decision yet again. Back in August, a couple months before Kapler’s firing, Middleton made the call to replace hitting coach John Mallee with ex-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.

    The 63-year-old Showalter is currently one of three seasoned skippers the Phillies are honing in on, joining Dusty Baker and Joe Girardi. Showalter looks to have the strongest connection of the trio to Philly’s front office, which is run by former Baltimore executives in Klentak and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. In fact, it was MacPhail who hired Showalter to manage the Orioles in 2010. It proved to be a sound decision by MacPhail, as the Showalter-led O’s earned three playoff berths until his ouster last year. Klentak and MacPhail are still Showalter fans, if his status as a finalist for the Phillies’ job is any indication, but he has to win over Middleton as well.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Poll: The Phillies’ Managerial Finalists]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177473 2019-10-18T03:28:07Z 2019-10-18T03:28:07Z The Phillies’ managerial search appears to be down to three candidates, who combine for 53 years of experience at running a Major League team.  Gabe Kapler was a first-time manager who took an analytics-heavy approach to his role as the Phils’ skipper, though after two disappointing years, Kapler was fired to make way for a more seasoned hand in the dugout.  This isn’t to say that Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, or Buck Showalter aren’t open to modern ideas, yet it’s clear that the Phillies are looking for, in the words of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen, a mix of “analytics and tradition.”

    While it could be argued how “new school” or “old school” the three candidates are, one thing is for certain — Baker, Girardi, and Showalter all have outstanding track records.

    Baker: 1863-1636 record over 22 seasons managing the Giants (1993-2002), Cubs (2003-06), Reds (2008-13), and Nationals (2016-17); 14 winning seasons; eight postseason appearances, seven division titles, one league pennant

    Girardi: 988-794 record over 11 seasons managing the Marlins (2006) and Yankees (2008-17); 10 winning seasons; six postseason appearances, three division titles, one World Series championship

    Showalter: 1551-1517 record over 20 seasons managing the Yankees (1992-95), Diamondbacks (1998-2000), Rangers (2003-06), Orioles (2010-18); 10 winning seasons; five postseason appearances, two division titles

    Between managing contenders, also-rans, rebuilding teams, and (in Girardi’s case) World Series champions, the three skippers have basically seen it all in their careers, which should help in dealing with a Phillies team that has a lot of talent, but was also hamstrung by injuries and a lack of production in some key areas over the last two seasons.

    As much as the Phillies were expected to contend this year, they haven’t yet gotten into that tier of the sport’s top teams — which is nothing unusual for Baker and Showalter, who have each molded losing teams into playoff contenders on multiple occasions.  Girardi didn’t exactly have the same rebuilding experience when he took over the consistently-winning Yankees following Joe Torre’s departure, though he withstood a decade in the Bronx pressure cooker, and kept the Yankees above .500 from 2013-16 during what counts, by New York’s standards, as a rebuilding period (only one postseason appearance in those four years).

    If you ran the Phillies, which of these three managers would you hire to get your team over the top?  (Poll link for app users.)

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[2020 Managerial Search Tracker]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177217 2019-10-23T05:55:16Z 2019-10-17T20:43:27Z Eight teams were looking for new skippers in October, and loads of potential candidates have been either rumored or directly connected to these job openings. We’ll do our best to keep things straight in this post….

    Angels

    Hired

    • Joe MaddonFormer Cubs/Rays manager, former Angels bench coach/interim manager

    Interviewed

    • John Farrell: Former Red Sox/Blue Jays manager
    • Buck Showalter: Former Orioles, Yankees, Rangers and Diamondbacks manager
    • Johnny Washington: Padres hitting coach

    Reportedly Received Consideration

    • Joe Espada: Astros bench coach
    • Joe Girardi: Former Yankees/Marlins manager
    • Eric Chavez: Angels special assistant

    Cubs

    Interviewing

    • Joe Espada: Astros bench coach
    • Joe Girardi: Former Yankees/Marlins manager
    • Gabe Kapler: Former Phillies manager, former Dodgers director of player development
    • Mark Loretta: Current Cubs bench coach
    • David Ross: Former Cubs/Red Sox catcher, current ESPN analyst
    • Will Venable: Current Cubs first base coach

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • Those six are said to be the final remaining candidates.

    Giants

    Interviewing

    • Pedro Grifol: Royals quality control and catching coach
    • Gabe Kapler: Former Phillies manager, former Dodgers director of player development
    • Mark Kotsay: Athletics quality control coach, former Padres hitting coach & baseball operations special assistant
    • Hensley Meulens: Giants bench coach
    • Ron Wotus: Giants third base coach
    • Matt Quatraro: Rays bench coach, former Indians assistant hitting coach
    • Will Venable: Cubs first base coach

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • Raul Ibanez: Dodgers special assistant
    • Mike Matheny: Former Cardinals manager
    • Joe Espada: Astros bench coach

    Mets

    Interviewing

    • Mike Bell: Diamondbacks director of player development
    • Carlos Beltran: Special assistant to Yankees GM, former MLB outfielder
    • Tim Bogar: Nationals first base coach
    • Joe Girardi: Former Yankees/Marlins manager
    • Eduardo Perez: ESPN analyst, former Astros bench coach, former Puerto Rican Winter League Manager of the Year
    • Skip Schumaker: Padres first base coach, former Padres baseball ops/player development assistant, former MLB utilityman
    • Derek Shelton: Twins bench coach, former Rays hitting coach
    • Luis Rojas: Mets quality control coach

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • Buck Showalter: former Orioles/Yankees manager
    • Mike Matheny: Former Cardinals manager

    Padres

    Interviewing

    • Ron Washington: Braves third base coach, former Rangers manager
    • Brad Ausmus: former Angels/Tigers manager
    • Rod Barajas: Padres interim manager, former bench coach
    • Jayce Tingler: Rangers player development field coordinator
    • Bob Henley: Nationals third base coach

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • Joe Maddon 
    • Mike Matheny: Former Cardinals manager

    Pirates

    Interviewing

    • Ryan Christenson: Athletics bench coach, former minor-league manager
    • Derek Shelton: Twins bench coach, former minor-league manager
    • Stubby Clapp: Cardinals first base coach, former minor-league manager

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • Jeff Banister: Pirates special assistant; former Rangers manager, Pirates bench coach
    • Mike Bell: Diamondbacks director of player development
    • Derek Shelton: Twins bench coach, former Rays hitting coach
    • Mark Kotsay: Athletics quality control coach, former Padres hitting coach & baseball operations special assistant
    • Joe Espada: Astros bench coach

    Phillies

    Interviewing

    • Buck Showalter: Former Orioles, Yankees, Rangers and Diamondbacks manager
    • Joe Girardi: Former Yankees/Marlins manager
    • Dusty Baker: Special advisor to Giants; former Nationals/Reds/Cubs manager

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • No other reported names under consideration

    Royals

    Interviewing

    • Vance Wilson: Royals bullpen coach

    Reportedly Under Consideration

    • Pedro Grifol: Royals quality control and catching coach
    • Mike Matheny: Royals special advisor
    • Dale Sveum: Royals bench coach
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    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Phillies Managerial Search Reportedly In Final Stages]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177422 2019-10-17T15:44:48Z 2019-10-17T16:00:08Z After conducting interviews with Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, and Dusty Baker last week, Phillies leadership is expected to welcome all three men back for follow-up interviews in the coming days, according to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer (link). Breen characterizes the hiring process as being in the “final stages”, with no other candidates slated to interview for the club’s open manager job.

    GM Matt Klentak and assistant GM Ned Rice are leading the search, though actively involved owner John Middleton and team prez Andy MacPhail are expected to have a “say” in the final decision. Breen points to next Thursday as a potential window for the team to announce its final decision, as that day will mark the first pause in the World Series schedule of play.

    Yesterday, news came that Girardi had stepped down as Team USA’s manager, presumably to focus on the numerous MLB hiring processes in which he is currently involved. Philadelphia is looking for an experienced successor to Gabe Kapler, who was dismissed after two years at the helm on the heels of a disappointing 2019 campaign that left them in fourth place in the NL East.

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    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[How Might Showalter Hiring Influence Philly Power Structure? ]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177275 2019-10-16T12:33:48Z 2019-10-15T15:19:06Z For those inclined to believe that Buck Showalter is the perfect man for the Phillies managerial opening, Dan Connolly of The Athletic has a small dose of historical cool water at the ready. In a piece entitledBuck Showalter is the perfect fit for the Phillies, but there’s potential for a nightmarish ending, Connolly paints a fine brushstroke portrait of what life in Philadelphia might be like with the veteran Showalter behind the team’s reins. While there are major pros to a potential Showalter hire in Connolly’s mind (including the skipper’s comfort working with stars and his facility with in-game strategy), the reporter draws an interesting parallel to the power dynamics that were present in Baltimore during Showalter’s time there. When he managed the Orioles, Showalter was known to meet with owner Peter Angelos on a frequent basis, which might have led to a strained–or, at least, compromised–hierarchy with Showalter’s titular boss in Dan Duquette. The Phillies, of course, have an owner in John Middleton who appears to be more actively involved than most, with Connolly going so far as to opine that Middleton is “running [the] show” in Philadelphia. How a Middleton-Showalter pairing might affect the position of Philadelphia GM Matt Klentak is a rumination worthy of a quiet Tuesday morning.

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    Tim Dierkes <![CDATA[Sam Fuld Declines To Interview For Managerial Vacancies With Cubs, Mets, Pirates]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177209 2019-10-14T18:10:09Z 2019-10-14T18:10:09Z Former big league outfielder Sam Fuld, currently serving as the Phillies’ Major League player information coordinator, declined the opportunity to interview with the Cubs, Mets, and Pirates for their managerial vacancies, MLBTR has learned.  The 37-year-old Fuld, who had developed a bit of a cult following as an all-out player for the Cubs, Rays, A’s, and Twins from 2007-15, is quickly gaining a reputation as a future managerial candidate.  The Stanford graduate was hired by the Phillies two years ago shortly after they hired Gabe Kapler to manage.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen profiled Fuld last season, examining the manner in which he serves as a liaison between the club’s analytics department and the clubhouse. “I think a lot of the times, the information can get overwhelming. It’s hard to sift through and pick ’OK, what’s important for this game?” Rhys Hoskins said at the time. “To have Sam, he’s recently out of the game, kind of act as that bridge just makes it so much easier on us players.”

    Given his Stanford degree in economics and his work both within the clubhouse and interacting with the Phillies’ analytics and baseball operations departments, there’ll likely be multiple paths for Fuld to consider as he determines what trajectory best suits him.  Kapler, meanwhile, is set to interview with both the Giants and the Cubs after being dismissed as the Phillies’ manager.  The Phillies, Mets, Cubs, Angels, Giants, Padres, Royals, and Pirates all have managerial vacancies at present.

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    George Miller <![CDATA[Phillies To Interview Buck Showalter, Joe Girardi, Dusty Baker]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177139 2019-10-14T11:59:02Z 2019-10-14T11:50:44Z Oct. 14: Showalter and Girardi are set to interview with the Phillies today, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Baker’s interview will take place later this week.

    Oct. 13: With the Phillies beginning the interview process for their next manager, the team is set to interview Dusty Baker for the vacant position later this week, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Baker is currently serving as a special adviser to the Giants, who have granted Philadelphia permission to meet with Baker.

    If the Phillies are seeking a manager with big-league experience, Baker surely fits the bill. At age 70, he comes with plenty of history to his name, having managed for 22 years and compiling a 1863-1636 overall record. If the Phillies were frustrated with Kapler’s approach to the game, Baker essentially represents his exact opposite.

    He fits the trend of the names that have surfaced in the Phillies’ search for Kapler’s replacement. Between Buck Showalter, Joe Girardi, and now Baker, there’s a distinct pattern of traits that the organization seems to prioritize; namely, someone who can bridge the gap between “analytics and tradition.” That’s a reversal of the prevailing trend in Major League Baseball towards young, cheap, and inexperienced managers. And for a Phillies team that finds itself firmly in win-now mode, the list of candidates sends a clear message that owner John Middleton believes a seasoned managerial veteran can help his club secure a World Series win in the very near future.

    For Baker, his Phillies interview will mark his first connection to an MLB managing job since the Nationals fired him after the 2017 season.

    He’s previously managed the Giants, Cubs, Reds, and Nationals, winning an NL pennant in San Francisco, where he was thrice named Manager of the Year. He’s guided his teams to the postseason nine times throughout his career. The one thing missing from his timeless managerial career: a World Series title. With that in mind, there’s no doubt that Baker and the Phillies will be united in that goal.

    Even so, it’s fair to question just how much interest Baker himself has in returning to an MLB dugout. He’s spent the last two seasons working as a special adviser in the Giants front office, and doesn’t seem to particularly miss the stress of handling a club’s day-to-day operations. And after more than 40 years spent as a player and manager, it would certainly be understandable if Baker was content to stay out of the business for good.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Phillies’ Managerial Job]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177030 2019-10-12T02:39:40Z 2019-10-12T02:39:40Z On Friday, shortly after he orchestrated the firing of manager Gabe Kapler, Phillies owner John Middleton met with reporters (including Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer) to discuss the move and what’s ahead for the team. Kapler was only on the job for two years, seasons in which the Phillies came out of the gate well before faltering in the summer months. In the end, Middleton couldn’t get past those late-season meltdowns.

    “Those September collapses. I kept bumping up against them,” said Middleton. “I couldn’t get comfortable or confident enough that if I brought him back we wouldn’t run into other problems and therefore I made the decision I did.”

    The Phillies went a middling 161-163 under Kapler, but they were a far worse 20-36 during the pair of Septembers in which he oversaw the club. That was clearly enough for Middleton to put an end to Kapler’s tenure with the organization, but it wasn’t the Phils’ owner who selected him in the first place. Rather, general manager Matt Klentak was responsible for the hiring of Klentak, though it doesn’t seem Middleton’s confidence in the exec has wavered.

    In assessing Klentak, a fourth-year GM, Middleton stated: “Nobody bats 1.000 in hiring decisions. I haven’t. So it’s early in his career, but I would also point out he’s made lots and lots of really good hiring decisions, too. I think what this should be is a learning experience, candidly. What’s happened in other businesses we’ve run and gotten into this kind of situation, people learn from it.”

    Middleton showed plenty of confidence last winter in Klentak, awarding him a three-year extension in the wake of an offseason spending bonanza for the club. With Klentak having brought in the likes of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and David Robertson, Philadelphia expected to push for the playoffs in 2019. But the club stumbled to a mediocre 81-81 record instead, leaving Kapler on the outs and the duo of Klentak and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to find a more qualified replacement.

    With the Kapler era in the rearview mirror, Philly’s now likely to seek a manager who blends “analytics and tradition,” writes Breen, who suggests longtime MLB skippers Buck Showalter and Joe Girardi are near the head of the team’s list. Showalter, a three-time Manager of the Year who previously helmed the Orioles from 2010-18, goes back a ways with ex-O’s executives Klentak and MacPhail. In fact, it was MacPhail who hired Showalter in Baltimore.

    Girardi’s connection to MacPhail isn’t as strong, though he was a catcher with the Cubs from 2000-02 when the latter was in the team’s front office. Since his playing career ended after 2003, Girardi – like Showalter – has established himself as one of the most accomplished managers in recent memory. He earned Manager of the Year honors in his lone season with the Marlins, 2006, and then led Yankees teams that regularly contended from 2008-17. Girardi was atop the ’09 New York club that knocked off Philadelphia in the World Series.

    With eight teams currently on the hunt for new managers, it’s no surprise the well-respected Showalter and Girardi have come up quite a bit of late. Showalter is on the Angels’ list of candidates, and he may emerge as a serious possibility for a Mets team that’s set to interview Girardi in a matter of days. Girardi already sat down with the Cubs earlier this week.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Gabe Kapler’s Firing]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176923 2019-10-11T03:28:50Z 2019-10-11T03:28:50Z Almost two full weeks after their season ended, the Phillies finally chose to fire manager Gabe Kapler on Thursday. But if GM Matt Klentak had his way, there wouldn’t have been a change. Klentak wanted to keep Kapler for 2020, though owner John Middleton ultimately made the decision to take the club in another direction, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports (subscription link).

    Kapler’s ouster appears to be the second time Middleton has directed a coaching decision in recent months, as he drove the team’s call to replace hitting coach John Mallee with Charlie Manuel in August, according to Montemurro and Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. When the Phillies made Kapler’s exit official, Middleton released a statement expressing confidence the Klentak-led club “will find the right person to lead us.” However, if Middleton truly did determine the fates of Kapler and Mallee, it seems possible he could overrule Klentak during the team’s hiring process. If so, it may call into question Klentak’s long-term future with the franchise.

    Klentak – whom the Phillies hired four years ago – will at least stay in place for a fifth season, as there haven’t been any indications they’ve considered moving on from him, Montemurro hears. The Phillies awarded Klentak with a three-year contract extension through 2022 last winter, though that won’t necessarily save him if the team falls flat again next season.

    This year was one many consider a dud for the Phillies, who entered the campaign with playoff aspirations after a winter rich in big-ticket acquisitions. Middleton signed off on a spending spree for the Phillies, whose offseason was headlined by their signing of Bryce Harper to a history-making 13-year, $330MM contract, though their aggressiveness only led to mediocre results. The team finished 81-81, a meager one-game improvement over its 2018 record, and missed the playoffs for the eighth year in a row.

    Kapler wound up taking the fall for the Phillies’ failures this season, but it could be Klentak on the outs a year from now if the club doesn’t make a clear improvement by then. Upgrading the Phillies’ roster will obviously be Klentak’s main priority over the winter, but for now, there’s pressure to find a better manager than his previous selection, Kapler. That individual will join a franchise whose management team “appears to be at odds” and may be “in a state of dysfunction” after Middleton overpowered Klentak on Kapler, Lauber observes.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Most Desirable Managerial Opening?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176878 2019-10-11T00:12:15Z 2019-10-11T00:12:15Z The Phillies fired Gabe Kapler on Thursday, leaving them as one of eight major league teams searching for a manager at the moment. Fellow National League clubs in the Padres, Mets, Pirates, Giants and Cubs are in the same position, while the Royals and Angels are seeking new skippers in the AL. The question is: Which team has the most desirable job?

    For starters, we can probably rule out the Pirates and Royals. Both teams have been hamstrung by low payrolls, with notoriously penny-pinching ownership holding back Pittsburgh and Kansas City (a team whose ownership is in transition) coming off its second 100-loss season in a row. Neither team looks as if it’ll contend in the immediate future, and the same may apply to the Giants, though they are a club with big-spending capabilities and promising president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi at the helm. On the other hand, the rest of the league’s manager-needy organizations look to have decent odds of pushing for relevance sooner than later.

    The Phillies just wrapped up their eighth consecutive non-playoff season, but with 81 wins, they weren’t exactly a basement dweller. Kapler’s successor will be taking over a team with big-time talent on hand (Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Aaron Nola, to name a few) and the spending power to amply address its most obvious weaknesses this offseason.

    Like the Phillies, the Padres have been suffering for too long. They’re fresh off their 13th straight year without a playoff berth, but they’re another team with front-line talent (Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Chris Paddack). Moreover, the Padres remain loaded on the farm, and owner Ron Fowler has made it clear it’s time to start winning in 2020.

    The Mets also have no shortage of top-line players, including ace Jacob deGrom and NL Rookie of the Year favorite Pete Alonso. However, their managerial position is probably the most pressure-packed of all the openings. Previous skipper Mickey Callaway oversaw an 86-win team in 2019, but he dealt with scrutiny from the media, fans and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen from start to finish.

    There’s also high expectations in Chicago, where even an exemplary record over five years wasn’t enough to keep Joe Maddon employed. The Cubs and president of baseball ops Theo Epstein gave Maddon the boot even though he helped them break a 108-year World Series drought in 2016 and led them to an overall 471-339 regular-season record with four playoff berths during his reign. But the Cubs, another financially well-off club with enviable high-end talent (Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Hendricks, for example), saw enough of Maddon after a late-season collapse and a non-playoff showing in 2019. Maddon’s replacement will be inheriting an 84-win team that will have playoff expectations for next year.

    The Angels, who seem like the favorites to land Maddon next, are another franchise with a sense of urgency to win in 2020. Despite the presence of the game’s best player, center fielder Mike Trout, they haven’t gone to the playoffs since 2014. The Halos haven’t even won a playoff game since October 2009, just a few months after drafting Trout.  With fourth-year general manager Billy Eppler set to enter the last season of his contract in 2020, it’s imperative for him to get this hire right (his previous selection of Brad Ausmus didn’t work out). Otherwise, he and the Angels’ next manager could be out a year from now.

    That’s a basic overview of where the sport’s manager-less teams stand heading into the offseason. There are more factors you could consider, of course. Which job looks the most appealing to you?

    (Poll link for app users)

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