The Philadelphia Phillies next general manager should be Preston Mattingly. This is if current Phillies vice president and general manager Sam Fuld leaves to join the Boston Red Sox as their new chief baseball officer to succeed Chaim Bloom. Currently, Mattingly serves as the Phillies director of player development. Previously, Mattingly was mentioned as a candidate for the general manager position with the Chicago White Sox, who promoted Chris Getz. If Fuld leaves, whoever takes over is likely to succeed Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations. This will come when Dombrowski decides to retire. Dombrowski has yet to indicate that he intends to step away soon. However, Dombrowski is 67, so the Phillies might be creating a succession plan. In addition, this plan could see a scenario where Fuld succeeds Dombrowski as president of baseball operations.
If the time comes this offseason or a few years from now, the Phillies have an internal candidate ready to run a front office and be in charge of baseball operations. At 36 years old, Mattingly is a rising star in the Phillies front office, and the team should do everything they can to keep him with the organization. This gives the team someone who can run baseball operations for a long time. Furthermore, if Mattingly were to become the Phillies general manager, it would be a similar promotion to what Getz received, so it is not out of the ordinary. There are long-term implications to this potential decision that will have ramifications for years to come. A team requires a new general manager due to promotions, and the hiring process is somewhat different.
Why Mattingly Should Be The Phillies Next General Manager
In his current role as director of player development, Mattingly has led a turnaround of the historically bad Phillies farm system. Before Mattingly took over, the Phillies had the 27th-ranked farm system according to MLB Pipeline rankings. Under the leadership of Mattingly, the farm system is now ranked 21st by MLB Pipeline. According to MLB Pipeline rankings, the Phillies currently have four of the top 100 prospects. With Mattingly in charge, the Phillies farm system has been developing and promoting prospects in a way the Phillies have not seen in some time. Two good examples of this on the Phillies roster are Johan Rojas and Orion Kerkering. Both players quickly rose the ladder to the major leagues this season. Additionally, both players have made immediate impacts for the Phillies. This comes as the team is heading into the postseason.
The Phillies making the postseason in consecutive years can be partially attributed to Mattingly. Key players for the Phillies, like Bryson Stott, came through the revamped farm system. Additionally, current Phillies top prospects like Andrew Painter and Mick Abel have seen their development influenced by Mattingly. The Phillies have four highly-ranked prospects who would have been unheard of before Mattingly arrived. This season, the Clearwater Threshers, who serve as the Phillies Single-A affiliate, made it to their league championship game. This came with the help of members of the Phillies 2022 draft class. Earlier this year, Mattingly told Alex Coffey that he values the 2022 draft class as the Phillies most significant one in the past ten years. With a bright future, it is time to make Mattingly the general manager if the opportunity arises.
Take Advantage Of The Opportunity Comes Up
While there are many highly qualified internal and external candidates for a potential opening, Mattingly should not be passed over. When the time comes for the Phillies to hire a new leader for their front office, they should turn the keys over to Mattingly. It is rare for someone to become a general manager before they turn 40. However, Mattingly is so well regarded by those in the industry that he deserves an opportunity. Until Mattingly ascends to a position on that level, expect to hear his name mentioned as a potential candidate for openings. This is the beginning of a possible rise to becoming a top baseball executive for Mattingly. If the job opens and they hire someone else, they risk losing Mattingly to another team. Someone will hire Mattingly to be their general manager someday. Hopefully, it is the Phillies.
Main Photo Credits: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports