The Phillies are finally making some changes to the front office. 62 year-old baseball executive, Andy MacPhail, is set to become the club’s new president for both baseball and business aspects following the 2015 season. For the next three months he will serve as current club president, Pat Gillick’s, special assistant; giving him time to oversee the Phillies’ current operations.
If you’re a big baseball fan, you are sure to have heard of Andy MacPhail before. He is credited for building the Minnesota Twins’ 1987 and 1991 championship teams when he served as their general manager from 1985 to 1994. For the next twelve seasons he took his first club president job with the Chicago Cubs, but they were for the most part forgettable seasons compared to what he did for the Baltimore Orioles from 2007 to 2011.MacPhail is credited with building the current Baltimore Orioles roster. I’m sure you have heard of Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Chris Tillman, and J.J. Hardy. Well, none of them would be Orioles if it wasn’t for Andy MacPhail’s expert draft picks and crafty trades. If he can revive the Orioles after several years of mostly lost seasons, think of what he can do for the Phillies over the next couple of years.
Over the next few months, MacPhail’s goal is to hire his own guys. First up will be a new manager. Given his track record, Phillies fans should be excited about a potential championship-caliber manager. In the past, MacPhail hired the Twins’ two-time World Series winning manager Tom Kelly and current AL Manager of the Year Buck Showalter of the Orioles.
Of course, it is almost guaranteed that current Phillies GM, Reuben Amaro Jr, will find his way out the door. One anonymous Phillies executive was quoted saying, “We want MacPhail to have one job and one job only for the rest of the year: figure out who to get to replace Ruben Amaro.” Nonetheless, Amaro will have his job through the remainder of the season. Leaving all potential July trade deadline deals up to him.
Speaking of trades, something Phillies fans should be even more excited about is MacPhail’s trade history. One of his most notable trades was sending Orioles ace Erik Bedard to the Mariners in exchange for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherrill and two other prospects. Talk about a return on investment. Just recieving Adam Jones alone would have put the Orioles on the winning end of the deal. Imagine all of the trade possibilities MacPhail could conjure for longtime Phillies ace and top trade chip Cole Hamels. But that’s not all, MacPhail brought in Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter by sending closer Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers. So, maybe he could pull the trade plug on current Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon?
MacPhail will also take over before next year’s First Year Player Draft. MacPhail, of course, has also experienced success in that department. In 2010, theOrioles had the third overall pick, choosing all-star third baseman Manny Machado. The Phillies could possibly have the number one draft pick next year, so it would be nice to have someone with experience in the realm of drafting.
Being a Phillies fan myself, I am overall satisfied with the hiring of Andy MacPhail. As partial owner John Middleton said, “Andy brings an uncommon blend of old-school experience and new-age thinking.” The Phillies are an old-school type of team in need of an injection of modern baseball thinking. MacPhail even said himself that the Phillies will now be incorporating sabermetrics regularly into their daily operations. It’s about time too, basically every other Major League organization has been doing so in the past decade. But it isn’t the first time the Phillies have been late to the party. With Andy MacPhail at the helm of the organization, maybe the Phillies can finally be the first to the party.