You may have heard the Phillies are hiring.
Yes, even though there is a global pandemic going on in which no one is going to want to uproot their lives, the Phils have spun around 180 degrees in the last week and are suddenly hot to replace Andy MacPhail as the team’s president of baseball operations.
Instead of taking a gap year, owner John Middleton will reportedly investigate the possibility of adding the newly single Theo Epstein following his resignation from the Chicago Cubs to head the team’s baseball operations. Epstein appears reluctant to hop into bed with another franchise at the moment, but it’s certainly worth the conversation.
But there are other worthy candidates to consider, too. On the latest edition of Hittin’ Season, I broke down some of the other contenders, including former Marlins president of baseball ops Michael Hill.
Hill is an intriguing name and would probably be one of the hottest commodities in baseball had he not worked for the Marlins the last few years. Hill drafted and developed Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto and was forced to trade all four of them. Imagine the powerhouse the Marlins could have been over the last five years if he’d been allowed to keep all those superstars and add pieces around them.
Even with his financial restrictions, he oversaw a 2020 season that saw Miami lose more than half their team to COVID-19 for a week or two and managed to keep their heads afloat before eventually reaching the postseason for the first time since 2003. Even with a team that, at times, openly sought not to win, Hill helmed the franchise as it passed the Phils in the race to rebuild this year.
Hill and Epstein are not the only solid candidates who could replace MacPhail. Tampa Bay Rays GM Erik Neander, San Francisco Giants president of baseball ops Brian Sabean, and former Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox boss Dave Dombrowski all bring a level of experience and success the Phils are reportedly looking for. Make sure to check out the entire podcast to hear a detailed breakdown on all the realistic possibilities.