Dave Dombrowski to keep Matt Klentak in front office

Former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
Former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports) /

Matt Klentak will have a Phillies front office role under Dave Dombrowski.

Among the first moves regarding the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason was when the organization announced that Matt Klentak stepped down as their general manager and would be reassigned to another position in the organization.

Since then, Klentak’s future role has yet to be defined, while Ned Rice has stepped in as interim general manager. As part of the announcement, the Phillies said that Rice would have the role “until a permanent successor is hired to oversee the team’s Baseball Operations.”

As it turns out, two-time World Series champion executive Dave Dombrowski wound up being that person, but not as general manager — rather, as the first-ever Phillies president of baseball operations. Dombrowski said during his introductory press conference on Friday that he does not yet know whether he will bring in a general manager.

“I don’t really know that answer, because I really want a chance to get to know the people in the organization,” he said. “My instincts are that there’s a strong likelihood, but I don’t want to make that 100 percent commitment until I get to know the individuals better.”

What is almost 100 percent certain is that Dombrowski will have a role for the former Phillies general manager in Klentak. Dombrowski said he has known Klentak for years and has a “great day of respect for him.”

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“He’s a very smart individual,” Dombrowski added. “He said he would help however he possibly could. I talked to him about some things and I said, ‘I would love to consult with you more and am happy to talk to you.’ So, yes, I’ll see what he feels comfortable doing.”

Currently, Klentak is listed with no title under the “Administration” department on the Phillies front office webpage. He was never removed from the page since stepping down from his former position; the team never intended to move on from Klentak, with still two years remaining on his contract.

Dombrowski said that Klentak told him that he wants to see the Phillies win, and that anything he could do to help, he wants to do it.

“I will talk to Matt in the future. What role he’ll fill, I guess we can wait and see who’s doing what at this point — which I don’t know of everybody [in the front office] yet,” Dombrowski said. “I have a great deal of respect for Matt and would hope to have him part of the decision-making process when we talk about things.”

Time will tell just what position Klentak is offered, and what role he will have moving forward. The Phillies failed to make the postseason in each of his five seasons as general manager.

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