Quick Thoughts on a New Era of Phillies GMing

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.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

3 comments

  1. Kurdt Kobeyn

    I always believe that the current Phillies opportunity is a “Dream Job” for an up and coming GM. Klentak is not my 1st choice but a change is really needed in the FO for all the obvious reasons.

    The previous FO made some good moves in the last 2-3 years in hitting on some draft picks (JPC, Nola and possibly Knapp, Randolph, Hoskins, McWilliams, Kingery, Cozens) and resurgence in LA talents (Kilome, Pinto, Grullon, Encarnacion, Atauz, etc) so I hope that the new FO can capitalized on the positive things in that front (I say keep Agostinelli and Almaraz).

    Financial muscle is not been a problem by the FO but they should learn from the mistakes of the previous FO — bad contracts and poor FA signings and inability to adopt to “change”. I hope the new FO will smartly use the $$ in the areas of need – Infrastructure (analytics, data information), player development (Phils need to hire the top coaches available) and international free agency.

    No to Price, No to Heywward, No to Upton, No to Zimmerman —- is still a smart business decision without the big FA signing as long the the FO put the resources to areas of need and I hope that mediocrity will not be tolerated for so long.

  2. SirAlden

    Lack of everyone but White Ivy League Males. Why not an Almaraz?

  3. supra98x

    I was surprised to read your comment on diversity, at a macro level, diversity is important (for example if you’re the commish of major league baseball, or the federal government) for idealistic reasons (aka equality of opportunity is important to a well functioning society). At a team level though, it’s utterly irrelevant and the lack of which can honestly can even be an advantage. What is far more important is diversity of thought. Not saying the recent hires provide that, but baring you showing me a reason they don’t, I’m not the least bit concerned.