Phillies Rumors: Jerry Dipoto as Next General Manager?


Who will be the next Phillies‘ general manager?

Ruben Amaro hasn’t been formally fired as the Philadelphia Phillies’ general manager, but him not being present on the podium when new team president Andy MacPhail was introduced as the franchise’s president-elect, if you will, told fans all they needed to know about his long-term future with the club.

Amaro may still formally be the general manager, but he’s operating with the power of an intern currently. While it’s fair to wonder if he was ever really in charge, it’s clear that he’s lost a ton of power within the front-office over the past calendar year.

The guess here is that Amaro is allowed to remain with the team through the end of the season and then the team formally agrees to “part ways” with a man who has spent parts of three decades in the organization. His contract is up anyway, so to suggest that the team will ever fire him doesn’t make a ton of sense. They don’t really have anything to gain by not at least publicly playing it off as a mutual decision to go in seperate directions.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports even suggested this afternoon that the Phillies could simply demote Amaro, while still holding onto his voice within the organization.

"Amaro could be kept in the organization even if he’s no longer GM, as he is viewed as a lifetime Phillie, which is just as he portrayed himself."

In the end, this probably wouldn’t be a smart move from the Phillies in a public relations sense, but Ed Wade found his way back into the organization years after being fired and after failing in another situation, and that has had little to nothing to do with the collapse of the Phillies’.

Heyman also suggested today that two executives with connections to the Los Angeles Angels could be fits for the eventual opening at general manager.

"Dipoto, a Jersey guy (Tooms River North High) with an analytics bent, could be an interesting add for Philly… Meanwhile, Matt Klentak, the team’s assistant GM, already is being mentioned as a possible candidate for a bigger job in Philly, as MacPhail has been a big supporter of Klentak, an East Coaster (he’s from Massaschusetts and went to Dartmouth) who he hired in Baltimore."

And by Tooms River, he meant little league baseball powerhouse, Tom’s River. 

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Klentak has previously worked under MacPhail in Baltimore, and seems to be a perfect fit at general manager. He would come in and clearly work under MacPhail, but he’s someone who MacPhail trusts and would eventually be able to hand the reins to. Let’s face it, the hope is that this regime lasts for a long-time in Philadelphia. MacPhail is already 63, though, so if the regime makes it to seven or eight seasons under power, MacPhail may decide he wants to take a lesser role or altogether retire.

As for Dipoto, he resigned over, among other things, manager Mike Scioscia’s refusal to implement a more analytical approach to the game on the field. It’s unclear if he would be willing to come to a situation like Philadelphia where he would probably work under MacPhail, but it also hasn’t been made clear whether MacPhail wants to be in charge for five to seven years or simply put pieces in place to do so.

Dipoto also didn’t have a perfect record as Angels’ general manager, signing both Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to deals that either have or eventually will hurt the on-field product of the team. Some people believe those deals were signed because of pressure from owner, Artie Moreno.

Frankly, we may be overreacting to the Phillies’ sudden willingness to embrace sabermetrics. They may target a general manager willing to implement them, but it might not be one who is as high on them as Dipoto is. As much as I have clamored for the team to embrace the 21st century more, they also need to find a general manager who they feel is good at all aspects of the job, not just one who is simply willing to use sabermetrics. Dipoto may turn out to be that, but expect a rather thorough search before any decision is made.

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