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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/17/2020 : The Search for new leadership

The Phillies selection of Caleb Cotham as the new pitching coach should be announced in the next few days ... he’s regarded as a really good communicator who’s very adept in modern teaching/coaching techniques. Cotham is 33 years old and pitched at Vanderbilt while in college ... he was the Yankees 5th round draft selection in the 2009 draft. He pitched in 35 big league games with the Yankees in 2015/2016. No word on who will replace bullpen coach Jim Gott ... maybe it’s a position that goes by the wayside with the assistant pitching coach filling the void ?🤔

In regards to the President of Baseball Operations and GM roles ...

I don’t think Erik Neander ( Rays ) has any interest at all in leaving Tampa. A recent article in the Tampa Tribune noted that the Rays denied a request by the Angels to interview Neander at his request ... word is he’s very happy in his current role and is not open to considering any others at this time.

Theo Epstein announced today his departure from the Cubs. From what I’ve read his interests beyond are very diverse and perhaps extend beyond baseball. It even seems more likely his next career move is not baseball related. If indeed he stays in baseball I’d say he would be more interested in team ownership at this point than continuing as the head of baseball operations for another franchise.

Similar thoughts can be found in today’s article in the Athletic ( Ken Rosenthal & Jayson Stark ) about Chris Antoinette of the Indians and Mark Shapiro of the Jays ... both are seemingly entrenched in their current roles and not looking elsewhere.

So ... assuming the Phillies are pondering the hiring of a President of Baseball Operations first and then letting whomever that is choose the GM to work under their direction I think there’s really only a handful of candidates. ( BTW I had intended to write this article before the Athletic article broke today 🤦‍♂️)

Here are the folks I think the Phillies have or will ask to interview ...

Michael Hill - 49 years old - formerly the President of Baseball Operations - Marlins

He’s a Harvard graduate and a former minor league player ( Rangers ). Began his administrative career with the Rays organization in scouting and player development. He joined the Marlins in 2002 and ascended to the President role after serving as Assistant GM, GM and Vice President. He would still be with the Marlins if they had not required him to take a pay cut. He meets the criteria of being from a scouting background and being part of a World Series team ( 2003 Marlins ). From my perspective Mr. Hill would be an outstanding choice.

Thad Levine - 49 years old - currently the Senior VP and General Manager of the Twins

He’s been the Minnesota GM since 2016 and has orchestrated the team into one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Prior to the Twins he worked in business development for the Dodgers before moving to the Rockies in 1999 in baseball operations ... in 2005 he was named Assistant GM of the Rangers. He’s familiar with the Philly area having attended Haverford College. It’s unclear if he’d be interested in the Phillies position.

Jim Hendry - 65 years old - currently a special assistant to the GM - Yankees

He’s got a wealth of experience and ties to Andy MacPhail after having served as VP/General Manager of the Cubs from 2002 to 2011. He has a background in scouting and player development as well. Hendry has served in his present role with the Yankees since 2012. A long time baseball man who’s widely known in the industry and very well regarded.

Brian Sabean - 64 years old - he served as Executive VP and GM of the Giants and won three World Series titles.

At present he’s a “senior advisor” type to the Giants. He began his baseball career as a scout with the Yankees back in 1985. Sabean joined the Giants in 1993 and the rest is history. According to the article in the Athletic he’s interested in returning to a more active role. I had heard rumblings before that he would be on the interview list ... if he’s interested I think that at least comes to fruition. Has a great resume, that’s for sure.

Mike Chernoff - 39 years old - currently the General Manager of the Indians.

He’s been with the Indians since 2009 after attending Princeton and worked his way up to his current role. According to the Athletic article he’s very happy in his current role and doesn’t seem likely to consider a move elsewhere ... doesn’t mean he wouldn’t ... just unlikely.

David Forst - - 44 years old - currently the GM of the A’s

He’s also a Harvard graduate who joined the A’s in 2000 as a scout. He became the Assistant GM in 2004 and the GM in 2016. He seems in line to move up again with the A’s if Billy Beane vacates his role as President of Baseball Operations. That would also open the door for Billy Owens to become the GM. I think both are staying in Oakland.

Mike Girsch - 39 years old - currently the VP and General Manager of the Cardinals

He just signed a contract extension thru the 2022 season but the Notre Dame graduate might consider a promotion to a team presidency elsewhere if offered. He joined the Cardinals in 2006 as coordinator of amateur scouting and worked his way up from there within the organization. Girsch was named GM in 2017 after having served as Assistant GM since 2011. Prior to that he was Director of Player Development for six seasons. He checks all the boxes in background and few can argue that the Cardinals have long been one of the most progressive and successful franchises in baseball. The “Cardinal Way” has a long track record of working.

Just one observer’s view ... A Fan’s View 🤓

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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