So not unsurprising the Ruben Amaro era has come to an end. It is an end that should have come earlier and one that we have seen coming for a long time now. It was unrealistic expect that Andy MacPhail would not hire his own guy to oversee the day to day of his vision for the Phillies. It would have been a PR disaster to keep him as well.
In reality Amaro wasn’t really the horrible franchise killing GMs that he gets parodied as. He was average, in his early years he could buy, but couldn’t sell. He was a company man who was a yes man to ownership, even to the detriment of the present and future of the club. He resisted analytics, but the Phillies self scouted and traded high on high risk prospects. His tenure is marked by horrible drafting due to bad leadership (Marti Wolevar) and lack of funding. However, the Phillies have scouting and signed players in Latin America at a high success rate in recent years. He said plenty of dumb things and had absolutely no filter. As we saw in the past 12 months, he functions well within a smart and well organized front office. He in the end is a fungible GM, his fortunes can shift based on a move here and there.
So now for the rambling thoughts:
- The Phillies GM position should be incredibly attractive. There is almost no chance that the Phillies go with a big name to work under MacPhail, but they should have their pick of Assistant GMs. The Phillies have a great farm system, some good young major leaguers, and tons of money. It is an ideal situation to start with a blank slate, not to mention you are the hero because you aren’t Ruben.
- I am terrified of the Phillies losing scouting and dev guys. Like legitimately scared. The Phillies have been doing amazing things in Latin America and in development. They have no spent a ton of money while filling the system with out of nowhere players like Franklyn Kilome, Adonis Medina, Alexis Rivero, Jonathan Arauz, Maikel Franco, and more. You can make up for a lot of GM mistakes if you have good people on the ground turning nothing into something.
- The success of the franchise has less to do with the exact GM they hire and more to do with the entire support structure. The Phillies should be spending big money on scouting and analytics, both on the ground level and in advisory roles. It comes down to hiring top talent to find top on field talent.
- This MacPhail’s team, it will be his vision.
- I hope MacPhail has done his homework on the organization’s players, there is always a point where a new GM clears out old players for new players to fit his vision. MacPhail was in the room for the trades this summer, so hopefully he is on board with the new talent. The Phillies’ farm system has a ton of depth, so if a new GM wants to purge it could get ugly.
In the end this is a good move, but there will be fallout and repercussions. Part of the reason MacPhail was hired well before the transition was to help mitigate that. This was the easy part, the hard part is hiring a new GM and retaining all the key guys while then building on top of that.