The Phillies have finally hired a new GM so now we know what the face of the new front office will look like. There is obviously a lot to be done and much of it will happen very slowly. MacPhail has already left a lot in place around the Phillies’ baseball ops and on field personnel as well as let Scott Proefrock clean out most of the obvious junk on the major league roster. This means that Klentak has a solid base to start to orient himself with the Phillies without needing to hire a full team around him. So given all of that here are some thoughts about the hire, about the things said by the team, Klentak, and MacPhail, as well as where I think the bigger opportunities for growth are as well as lurking problems.
- MLB has a major diversity problem and it starts at the lowest level. The entry level positions narrow down an already limited field to a select few that can afford to take unpaid internships and low paying entry jobs in order to break into baseball. By the time we get to the high level executive positions the hiring pool lacks diversity of backgrounds. It is frustrating to see the Phillies hire a new GM that looks and has the resume of nearly every other new GM hire, but it really isn’t their fault, it is the fault of an exclusionary system
- MacPhail may get final say but it really sounds like he will be more the long term visionary and will be reliant on the front office to do all of the leg work before final decisions.
- As we all know the Phillies are in a really great place. Klentak acknowledged the excitement that comes from having the #1 pick in the draft, the Rule 5, waiver, and top international pool in building your own vision for a baseball team. Not to mention some good young players in the majors and a very good farm system.
- Klentak seems open on the surface to providing good communication across the organization and trying to have a singular focus on information gathering and synthesization, but that is much easier to say than to accomplish.
- Don’t expect the Phillies to spend in 2016, Klentak acknowledged that FA is not really the place to get value.
- Don’t expect radical AJ Preller type trades out of Klentak (at least not to start), it doesn’t look like he is going to be making big sweeping changes to the org or it’s timeline.
- There won’t be any big FO shakeups, and while there is some areas needing trimming, what the Phillies really need is an analytics department and an overall org philosophy of working all of the information together. It is important to acknowledge that Klentak has worked with MacPhail, Scott Proefrock, and Joe Jordan before.
- The big focus appears to be on talent acquisition with the draft and international markets being first and foremost. Klentak did mention specifically the Rule 5 draft and waiver wire, both of those could function as good ways for the Phillies to acquire talent cheaply.
- Klentak still hasn’t had time to see the Phillies from within the Phillies so we will know more once he gets to look at the Phillies’ own internal reports.
Overall it came across positively, though not overly so. The Phillies have been going in the right direction for a bit now, so continuation is a bit boring, but it is the right direction.
I apologize for the disjointedness of these thoughts, it was much more organized and then I rambled.