For weeks now, the Philadelphia Phillies new brain trust, led by team president Andy MacPhail, has been selecting and sorting through candidates for the General Manager position with the team.
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On Monday, the Phillies are scheduled to begin their annual organizational meetings. In previous interviews over the last few months, MacPhail has stated that having the new GM in place in time for these meetings would be an ambitious goal.
There have been a number of publicly revealed interviewees for the position over these last few weeks, including high profile candidates such as MLB’s Senior VP for Baseball Operations Kim Ng.
However, it appears as if the Phillies have narrowed the search down to a final three candidates, and a hiring could indeed take place before those organizational meetings.
The final three candidates are likely former Los Angeles Angeles assistant GM Matt Klentak, current Oakland A’s assistant GM Dan Kantrovitz, and Kansas City Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo, who has been deemed the favorite to land the position by USA Today baseball insider Bob Nightengale.
MacPhail himself took official control of the Phillies operations from former club president Pat Gillick just one week ago, though he has been heavily involved in club matters for months now.
As per Philly.com’s Ryan Lawrence, Gillick will be remaining in an advisory capacity, but new ownership front man John Middleton spoke glowingly of MacPhail in a press release as the new president took over.
“Speaking on behalf of the ownership group, we are pleased with the input that Andy has provided over the past few months. His years of baseball knowledge, combined with his passion for the game, are important as he moves forward with his primary objective of developing a championship-caliber team.”
MacPhail will certainly run the reasons for his final pick past Gillick and Middleton. If that weren’t to be the case in such an important hire, why keep Gillick around at all? What is the point of having such an “advisor”, if not to advise on vital matters. And Middleton has demonstrated nothing in his public appearances if not that he will be involved.
There is an increasingly strong chance that MacPhail will make his choice this weekend, following a final round of interviews. He will then run it all past Gillick and Middleton, who are likely to trust their own choice as team president, after asking any final questions they may have of him.
Of course it’s possible that this timetable and these final three names are off a little. However, the Phillies GM hiring will indeed take place no later than the MLB General Manager meetings, which begin in just over two weeks.