As the Phillies slog through this season, a new era may be on the way with the Phillies latest potential hire.
Philadelphia plans to hire Andy McPhail as their next President of Baseball Operations for the franchise. He will replace the Hall of Famer Pat Gillick, who will move over to a consultant job for the franchise, a role he had with the team before becoming president.
This announcement is not official yet, but a report from CBS Sport’s Jon Heyman indicates that this move could be announced within a week or so. The 62-year-old won two World Series as general manager of the Minnesota Twins and was the president/CEO of the Cubs and then moved onto the Orioles where he became baseball president for the franchise.
This is the right time for this type of hire for the Phillies. They are going nowhere with the current team they have put together. Though they have some young players in the mix currently, this roster is still filled with way too many older players whose best days of their careers have since long past them. They are now just taking up space on the bench and on the Phillies payroll.
Giving McPhail more than half the season to evaluate the team makes sense in a variety of ways. First, with his experience with the Twins, Cubs and Orioles in past years, he will be able to evaluate this roster and see what this franchise needs in order to be back on the path of being a consistent winner.
Second, he will be able to address what has been a very bad and barren minor league farm system. Once a strength for the franchise, their farm system has fallen on very hard times at the hands of bad drafting and trades that zapped a lot of young talent from their system. McPhail has in the past been able to build solid farm systems that were able to produce some productive and valuable players who fit with what the team at that particular time needed badly.
Third, he has a good track record when it comes to trades benefiting his teams. Phillies have swung and missed on some recent trades that have only contributed to the franchise’s downfall in recent years. One example of McPhail’s trade acumen: he was able to swing a deal while with the Orioles that netted the team Chris Tillman and Adam Jones for Erick Bedard. This has been and continues to be a deal that has helped lead the Orioles through their latest revival in recent years.
The Phillies are in dire need of a new voice and direction in order to get some excitement and energy back into this organization and most importantly, to the fans, who with their money are making their own statement by not attending home games at nearly the clip they were during the heyday of the Phillies back in the late 2000’s.
Hiring McPhail is a big step in the right direction, but it is only one of many steps they will have to take in order to see themselves getting back to being the consistent winners they once were just a mere five or six years ago.