Dodgers’ Josh Byrnes no longer Phillies president candidate

Former San Diego Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes (Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
Former San Diego Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes (Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

Dodgers executive Josh Byrnes will not join the Phillies front office.

The Philadelphia Phillies search for a new president of baseball operations has hit multiple snags.

The organization reportedly received permission to interview current Minnesota Twins general manager Thad Levine; however, later in the day of the initial report, the executive announced his intent to stay with the American League Central team.

Just last Friday, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury reported that the Phillies 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.

Now, Byrnes has since become just as much out of the running as Levine. Late Tuesday, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported that Byrnes has decided that he will remain in Los Angeles and will not remain in the running to replace Andy MacPhail. “The Phillies continue to talk to [Hill] and other candidates,” Stark continues. “But their timetable remains unclear.”

Byrnes had been considered a “frontrunner” earlier this month to join the Phillies front office in some capacity — whether as president, general manager, or a hybrid of both. Now, he will stay put working in the front office of the 2020 World Series champions.

As George Stockburger of Section 215 notes, Hill built up a Marlins core and found quality, young talent, similar to what former Phillies general manager Ed Wade did ahead of the 2007-2011 postseason run. “He’ll be [the Marlins’] Ed Wade, the guy who built that core but didn’t get the ring,” he continues.

There is a connection between Hill and  J.T. Realmuto; and, the Phillies and the free-agent catcher reportedly have mutual interest on a reunion. Hill had been in the Marlins front office since 2002, before being let go this past October. The then-Florida Marlins drafted the “best catcher in baseball” in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Carl Albert High School in Oklahoma.

It is not clear which other candidates remain in the running for the Phillies front office position, other than Hill. If he is hired and can help bring back Realmuto, all the better.

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