Reliever Dan Otero will never see the light of day in a Phillies uniform. Not if Matt Klentak has any say on the matter. Which he did on Friday when he sent Otero to the Indians for cash considerations.
Even as we speak, Matt Klentak is in a full sprint on a treadmill in his office, calmly ordering his next phase of fringe pitcher acquisitions into a speaker phone. The Philllies' plan to cultivate their young pitching has become clearer over the last few months, giving the new front office's mission statement a level of transparency that would have Ruben Amaro aggressively grimacing.
When Klentak was hired to work under new team president Andy MacPhail, the question arose as to how the power structure would form. Was Klentak just MacPhail's puppet? Had he assured MacPhail he would work in tandem with the other executives while simultaneously planning to go rogue the first instance he could? How was Sam Hinkie involved?
Todd Zolecki writes that MacPhail's influence was all over the Ken Giles trade, but when Klentak dealt Otero he did so not because it was a directive from on high but because he just felt like it. He just felt like calling Otero to wish him a happy Christmas, and to tell him that he would never appear in a Phillies uniform. He just felt like standing menacingly, arms folded, as Otero wept through the process of packing up his belongings and pulling his kids out of school. Matt Klentak doesn't give a shit.
MacPhail echoed some statements he'd made back when Klentak was first hired, regarding the dynamic in the two-pronged hierarchy.
"But it's important that our general manager is able to execute the plan. And he's got to have the autonomy to at any given time look across the table at an agent or GM and make a trade. He can't keep running back to get permission from headquarters. That's not the way it can work."
It seems healthy to bring a guy in whose judgement you trust enough that you can leave him alone for an afternoon and know he won't huff some glue and acquire a front line starter with a huge contract because he had his brain turned after reading too many comments on the Phillies' Facebook page.
So, we know that Klentak is free to acquire all the cash considerations he wants, and probably spearhead much of the space-filling and low-risk taking, at the very least, and with the squad the Phillies are putting together for 2016, he'll probably be pretty busy.