Phillies rumors: Josh Byrnes ‘frontrunner’ for GM position

Josh Byrnes, right, formerly of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Josh Byrnes, right, formerly of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Dodgers front office executive Josh Byrnes is reportedly the frontrunner to become the next Phillies GM.

The process has taken longer than most would have hoped, but it appears the Philadelphia Phillies are closer than ever toward naming their next general manager to replace Matt Klentak. According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, current Los Angeles Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes appears to be the “frontrunner.”

Byrnes has already had two virtual interviews with the Phillies, the most recent taking place this past Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber reports.

An alumnus of Haverford (PA) College, Byrnes has spent the past six seasons in his current role with the 2020 World Series champions, of which his responsibilities include supervising the the organization’s 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).

“Byrnes might not have had great success during his stints as GM of the Diamondbacks and Padres, but make no mistake: He’s learned a lot since those two experiences,” Bowden recently wrote. “He’s been locked in with the latest analytics, video technology and research and development departments. He’s learned under Andrew Friedman and has always been a good evaluator of talent.”

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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.

Thus, Byrnes not only helped to end an 86-year drought for the Red Sox, but also a 32-year drought this fall with the Dodgers. The Phillies currently have a 12-year drought of their own, and have not qualified for the postseason since 2011. Bowden thinks Byrnes is the perfect fit to end at least the organization’s postseason drought, as soon as next season.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the 50-year-old is ready for his next opportunity,” Bowden continued. “I think that in one offseason, he can help get the Phillies back into the postseason.”

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