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June 15, 2015

Phillies reportedly eyeing Andy MacPhail as potential replacement for Pat Gillick

For better or worse, changes are coming for the Phillies.

On the field, there will likely be a near-total roster overhaul in the next six weeks. Off the field, however, things could be even more drastic.

According to Jim Salisbury of, the Phillies are targeting Andy MacPhail as a potential replacement for team president Pat Gillick. However, it remains unclear if Gillick's role would be the one MacPhail initially occupies.

It is not clear what role MacPhail would have if he were to join the Phillies. Gillick, 77, succeeded Montgomery as interim club president late last summer and had the interim tag removed in January. At the time, Gillick made it clear that he did not intend to stay on the job long — maybe a year or two. In addition to overseeing the baseball side of the organization during his time as president, Gillick was expected to help identify candidates to lead the organization and recommend them to ownership.  []

It is also unclear, per Salisbury, as to when a move like this would take place. With general manager Ruben Amaro on the final year of his contract and the team in need of several on-field personnel changes between now and the July 31 trade deadline, it would make the most sense to bring in MacPhail as soon as possible.

It is not clear whether the Phillies would bring on a new club president during the season, wait until after the season to make a move, or simply stick with Gillick. Bringing on a new leader — perhaps even in a consultant’s capacity — with plenty of season remaining would make sense because that person would have time to evaluate the front office and field staffs as changes are considered. That person also would be able to have a hand in several important trades and player personnel matters. The Phillies have a number of those with Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon on the trading block and iconic veterans such as Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in decline. []

Aside from his long, impressive resume -- he won two World Series titles as GM of the Twins (1987, '91), was president/CEO of the Cubs and, most recently, head of baseball operations for the Orioles until 2011 -- the 63-year-old MacPhail was a candidate to replace Bud Selig as MLB Commissioner. 

It's also worth noting that his last name contains "Phail" -- spelled with a "Ph" and all -- so there will be plenty of material for Phillies fans should he, you know, Phail.