The Phillies are searching for a president of baseball operations, and one of the most qualified men in the history of the game just became available.
Theo Epstein left the Cubs this week. He’s talked about taking some time away from baseball, and the widespread belief is he’ll seek an ownership stake in his next venture. Still, “the Mike Trout of baseball executives” is out there, as Jim Salisbury put it in the video above.
John Middleton might not be able to laugh like Ted DiBiase but he has the power to invoke the Million Dollar Man’s favorite phrase. You have to inquire and see if the 46-year-old Epstein has a price.
Salisbury reported earlier this week that the Phillies will still reach out to Epstein despite the former Red Sox and Cubs front office leader’s desire to step away from the game for the first time in 30 years.
Ned Rice is serving as the Phillies’ interim GM. Matt Klentak was relieved of his duties after the Phillies missed the playoffs, again, despite an eight-team National League field in 2020.
There is a lot of justifiable negativity felt by Phillies fans right now. The team has missed the playoffs every year since 2012 and has collapsed in September three years in a row. They have amassed individual talent but haven’t become a winning team. Now they’re on the brink of losing maybe their most important overall player in J.T. Realmuto. You can’t blame the faithful for feeling like the ship is rudderless.
A hire like Epstein would go over even better here than the Sixers’ hiring of Daryl Morey. Both are forward-thinking go-getters who have helped shape the way their sport is evaluated and played. But Epstein has three chips and helped end two historic droughts in pressure-packed environments. Advantage Theo.
The Mets job is also open and even more appealing than this one. Is it likely that Epstein comes to Philly? No. But it’s possible, because this organization is close to desperation mode in its quest to win and a real architect of positive change can be had.