Well, I guess that solves John Middleton’s conundrum.
After five years as the Phillies GM, Matt Klentak stepped down in a rather odd, yet intriguing move. In the official press release from the Phillies, it says that Klentak will be reassigned to a new position in the organization. I have never seen a GM step down and not actually be fired. It will be curious to see what type of role he will be placed in moving forward.
Since the end of the season, reporters had speculated that Middleton was deciding whether to keep the oft-ridiculed Klentak. Reports saying both that he would stay and be fired came out during the week, but it seemed inevitable that Middleton was going to make a change. I mean, he had to. The team is nowhere near a finished product, and the farm system is devoid of star talent outside of Rookie of the Year hopeful Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard.
It is very sad, but this organization hasn’t made any real progress during Klentak’s time in charge. The team still hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011, with the last three Septembers resulting in late season collapses. This season, however, was worse than the others due to the expanded playoff format. Klentak failed to fix the roster wholes in the pitching staff last offseason, resulting in one of the worst bullpens in all of MLB history. That, along with the rash of injuries, would make it very difficult for any team to win.
In what will be a pivotal offseason for the Phillies, this leaves the team with a lot of uncertainty. The team has many question marks to answer, none bigger than the resigning of superstar C JT Realmuto.
With the offseason fast approaching, we better hope that the search to find Klentak’s replacement is swift. The Phillies can’t afford to get to the offseason without a lead voice in the baseball operations department.
Hopefully, this move brings on the culture change the Phillies desperately need. Gotta follow up the Sixers somehow, right?