While the Mets lock up power hitting outfielders and the Braves sign veteran pitchers, the Phillies announced decided it was time to make a move of their own. They announced Wednesday afternoon that they have hired former Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan as a special assignment scout.
Ryan was recently relieved of his duties as the Twins general manager in July as the team limped to the league’s worst record with only 59 wins on the season. It marked the end of a 31-year relationship with the Twins that included 19 years as general manager spread across two separate stints. Interestingly enough, Ryan’s first stint as Minnesota’s GM came on the heals of Andy MacPhail’s tenure in that role. MacPhail, of course, is the the Phillies team president.
With the addition of Ryan, the Phillies front office now included five former major league general managers with MacPhail, Ed Wade, Pat Gillick, and Dallas Green. Under Ryan’s most recent employment with the Twins from 2012 to 2016, Minnesota put together one of the best collections of prospects in baseball that included Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, and Jose Berrios. His tenure, however, was also marked by a perplexing inability or unwillingness to acquire pitchers capable of throwing hard or getting strikeouts.
"I have known Terry for more than a decade and have enormous respect for all that he accomplished during his tenure with the Twins," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said in a statement. "Terry's work ethic, loyalty and track record as a talent evaluator are simply unparalleled in our game."
As a scout, the Phillies have hopefully put Ryan in a role where the weaknesses that were the downfall of his lengthy employment as general manager don’t interfere with the strengths that inspired that longevity. Say what you will about the Twins organization and their loyalty that would make Bernard from Westworld look like a backstabbing son of a bitch, but one doesn’t remain with one organization for over 30 years without truly discernible abilities. As a special assignment scout, Ryan will likely be responsible for identifying worthwhile minor leaguers for the Phillies to acquire in trade, a skill his resume suggests he possesses.