Phillies: 5 Andy MacPhail press conference takeaways

Andy MacPhail of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Andy MacPhail of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Bryce Harper is introduced to the Philadelphia Phillies by General Manager Matt Klentak (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

3. COVID-19 will continue to negatively impact the Phillies and Major League Baseball.

The ongoing pandemic will not just affect the Philadelphia Phillies organization further in the coming weeks and months, but as well as the entirety of Major League Baseball. Phillies President Andy MacPhail told reporters Friday afternoon that he believes free agencies, including those of Realmuto and Gregorius, could drag on — similar to the 2018 offseason when Manny Machado and Bryce Harper did not sign until close to the start of spring training.

As far as minor-league baseball heading into 2021, there is much uncertainty for which teams will still exist. “We don’t know what the scope of the minor leagues is going to be,” MacPhail said, before hinting that the Phillies currently do not know whether there will be a team at the Double-A Reading level moving forward.

Of course, this is all related, in part, due to decreased revenues. The Phillies’ finances, according to MacPhail, are particualrly not ideal; he said he has never seen anything like the current landscape across his decades of experience in the league.

No one saw the pandemic coming, especially not the Phillies, who just before the pandemic were amid reinvesting money into the team, particularly through multi-million-dollar stadium renovations to Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, and Citizens Bank Park.

The Phils recently cut, including former manager Pete Mackanin, who was serving as an advisor to the general manager. Unfortunately, more difficult cuts are likely on the horizon. MacPhail says “about 90 percent” of the decisions the franchise has to currently make are not player-related, but rather “internal.”