Phillies wander aimless as Braves add Charlie Morton

Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Charlie Morton #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Following a disappointing season, the Phillies still have no direction, while the Braves and other teams in the division continue to improve.

So far, the Philadelphia Phillies have done seemingly nothing so far this offseason, outside of hiring Caleb Cotham as pitching coach. Although Cotham looks like a good hire, there are far more important things on the organization’s offseason checklist. For the good part of the past month, they have been wandered aimlessly.

This especially seems apparent, as the division-rival Atlanta Braves continue to improve their starting rotation. After signing LHP Drew Smyly to a one-year, $11 million contract, the club inked fellow former Phillie, right-hander Charlie Morton, to a one-year, $15 million deal on Tuesday.

At first, it seemed former general manager Matt Klentak would keep his job through 2021. He would ultimately resign in October, but the Phillies have not yet named a true replacement — only marking Ned Rice as the interim.

Then, team president Andy MacPhail told reporters that he would remain in his current role, but only through this coming season the latest — adding he would step down sooner if the right replacement was identified.

What is the sense in keeping MacPhail around for another day, let alone an entire season, when you know he will not be here long-term? None. That’s the answer. This falls on Managing Partner John Middleton and no one else. Manager Joe Girardi even recently made another push for J.T. Realmuto, but personally revealed no insight regarding the negotiation process.

The team needs legitimate direction.’s Todd Zolecki recently reported that the Phils would be moving forward with general manager interviews. Few candidates have been made known since; one notably being Jeff Kingston — the current assistant general manager of the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.