The Philadelphia Phillies have been looking for a new leader of the baseball operations department after Matt Klentak stepped down as general manager.
After a long and arduous search, it seems the Phils found their guy.
Jayson Stark of The Athletic reported Thursday the Phillies are nearing a deal to hire former Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski as their new president of baseball operations.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 10, 2020
Dombrowski had previously expressed his intent to remain in Nashville, where he had been hoping to bring a major-league franchise.
However, Phillies managing partner John Middleton approached Dombrowski again when tow candidates for the job withdrew their names from consideration, per Stark:
From that point, according to a source who spoke with Dave Dombrowski, the two sides began talking continuously over the next several days and were described, by Thursday afternoon, as having made significant progress toward a deal. Assuming that agreement doesn’t unravel at the last minute, the Phillies are about to hand the keys to their franchise to one of the most accomplished front-office figures of the last 30 years.
It is a bit of a curious hire, in context. The Phillies are looking to cut payroll this winter. Dombrowski, on the other hand, is used to spending big from his time in Boston.
That said, Stark pointed out Dave Dombrowski suffered through a number of losing seasons while building a winner with the Tigers. But he accomplished that goal, as Detroit competed for a World Series in both 2006 and 2012.
Philadelphia could face challenges this year, given it is primed to lose All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto in free agency.
But it is possible Dombrowski is the right guy to oversee a hard reset and bring about some immediacy in establishing a winning franchise with the Phillies.