Phillies eyeing two Dodgers executives for GM opening

A statue of Mike Schmidt outside Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
A statue of Mike Schmidt outside Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

The Phillies are reportedly eyeing two Dodgers front office executives, Josh Byrnes and Jeff Kingston.

Two of the highest-ranked names in the 2020 World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball operations department are reportedly in the running to replace Matt Klentak as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies — Josh Byrnes, Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations; and Jeff Kingston, Dodgers vice president and assistant general manager.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said Monday morning that he was told “in the last 24 hours” that both Byrnes and Kingston are names being considered in the Phillies’ front office search.

Josh Byrnes

An alumnus of Haverford (PA) College, Byrnes has spent the past six seasons in his current role, of which his responsibilities include supervising the Dodgers’ scouting and player development departments. Prior, he served as an executive vice president/general manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks (October 2005-July 2010) and San Diego Padres (October 2011-June 2014).

The Washington, D.C., native began his baseball front office career more than 25 years ago with the Cleveland Indians as an advance scout and later director of scouting. Byrnes also previously served as an assistant general manager for the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox, including the latter team’s 2004 World Series championship-winning season.

“It would have to be a very appealing situation for [Byrnes] to leave southern California,” Morosi said. “Certainly, given his connections to the east coast, one would have to assume that being the chief executive of the Phillies [that it would] — [with] Bryce Harper being there, Rhys Hoskins as well … a lot of appealing components [are] already in place with the Phillies.”

Jeff Kingston

A finalist for the Los Angeles Angels’ general manager job earlier this offseason, Kingston also has east coast ties, being from Moorestown, New Jersey, and an alumnus of Dickinson College — located fewer than 150 miles west of Philadelphia.

Morosi describes Kingston as being “very highly regarded.” He has spent the past two seasons in his current position with the Dodgers, after spending the previous nine in the Seattle Mariners organization — first as an assistant general manager and later with the expanded title of assistant general manager and vice president of baseball operations.

While with the Mariners, Kingston worked closely with player acquisitions and contract negotiations, as well as oversaw their player development and baseball analytics departments. He began his professional baseball career with the San Diego Padres in 1999 as a summer intern in their corporate development department under Theo Epstein; he was hired full-time in 2001 as an assistant to the director of player development, before being promoted to director of baseball operations a year later — a position he held through 2009.

While Morosi said that, given current indications, it will be a financial challenge for the Phillies to re-sign J.T. Realmuto, it would still be appealing for Byrnes or Kingston to join the front office and leave the reigning World Series champions in Los Angeles.

Phillies ‘not in position’ to re-sign catcher J.T. Realmuto. light. More