Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports that Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and team president Andy MacPhail received three-year contract extensions that were never publicly announced. Klentak, Gelb reports, got a new deal this past spring that takes him through the 2022 season. MacPhail reportedly got a three year extension in late 2017 hat takes him through the 2021 season.
On a basic level is this relevant and interesting news for Phillies fans. It suggest that ownership has confidence in the executive team that has authored a rebuild which has since moved on to the competitive stage. That said, it’s an executive team that, while successful in transforming the Phillies from a losing team to a contending one — and one which made a huge splash this past offseason by acquiring multiple high-profile players, capped by signing Bryce Harper — still presides over a flawed team that is struggling relative to expectations. How that cuts is open to multiple interpretations, of course. It can show an admirable devotion to the long game. It could also cause some fans to question whether there’s an urgency there to patch the holes that have the Phillies currently looking up at the Nationals and Braves.
I find the lack of team comment about it all the most interesting. Gelb details multiple statements from management and ownership over the years in which they refused to talk about the contract status of team executives, saying it’s no one’s business. Do you think that’s the case? Personally, I think it’s relevant to the public and the fan base, inasmuch as they have a right to know if successful executives are being rewarded for success or if unsuccessful executives are being held accountable. It’s the sort of thing that, in turn, lets fans assess how much confidence they want to place in the team. The Phillies, though, don’t think that’s important, it seems.
Thankfully Gleb’s sources do. And as a result, today we know something about the Phillies front office we didn’t know yesterday.