Twins grant Phillies permission to interview GM Thad Levine
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies will consider current Twins GM Thad Levine in their search for a head of baseball operations.
The search for the next leader of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball operations department is progressing. And, the job is reportedly “coveted.”
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reported on Friday that the organization will conduct second interviews with Josh Byrnes, senior vice president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Michael Hill, a former Miami Marlins general manager and president of baseball operations.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman has added another name into the mix — Thad Levine, the current general manager of the Minnesota Twins, who granted the Phillies permission to interview him following their request, Darren Wolfson reports. Sherman reports that Levine is a “significant player” in the Phillies’ search.
Update, 12/4, 11 p.m.: MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Levine is “no longer in the mix,” as he prefers to stay in Minnesota.
Levine has worked in his current role since November 2016; among his responsibilities include partnering with Twins President of Baseball Operations, Derek Falvey, to lead every baseball ops aspect, including major league operations, scouting, player development and player procurement.
Prior to joining the Twins, the Haverford (PA) College and UCLA alumnus worked 11 seasons with the Texas Rangers as their assistant general manager and oversaw international scouting. There, he gained experience under President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Jon Daniels with player acquisitions, roster composition, contract negotiations, and statistical and financial analyses.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Levine began his MLB front office career with the Colorado Rockies, starting in 1999, and worked his way up to the senior director of baseball operations role. He also spent one season (2005) with the Los Angeles Dodgers in its business development department.
There have only been six general managers in Twins history, and two of their previous three currently work for the Phillies — special assignment scout Terry Ryan and team president Andy MacPhail.
Ryan, who was the Twins general manager before Levine from 2011-16 (and also 1994-2007), coincidentally is involved in the team’s front office search process — along with revered 2008 World Series champion Pat Gillick.
MacPhail, who was the Twins GM from 1986 to 1994, led the Twins to their 1987 and 1991 World World Series championships; the franchise’s first of three championships was in 1924. Other Twins GMs have included Bill Smith (2007-11), Howard Fox (1985-86) and Calvin Griffith (1961-84).
According to Salisbury, the timetable is unknown as far as when the Phillies will hire Byrnes, Hill, Levine, or another candidate to lead their baseball operations department. And, there is still the chance that interim general manager Ned Rice will remain his current role into next season.
“At the moment, the Phillies appear to be targeting candidates who could serve as president of baseball operations,” Salisbury writes. “That person would report to ownership and possibly hire his own general manager.”
The team’s baseball ops search is ever-evolving. For now, it seems there are at least three candidates being heavily considered.