The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly found their new top man, and it’s a pretty surprising hire.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 10, 2020
What’s so surprising about this news is that Dombrowski had previously seemed very committed to the Nashville group – i.e., the group of people trying to bring a new MLB team to Nashville in the next round of expansion (which could very easily be in the next few years). He would have a small stake, but then he would also run baseball operations. A chance for another step up to partial owner.
If that person isn’t going to be Dombrowski, might it open the door for someone like … Theo Epstein? That’ll definitely now be worth keeping an eye on.
Otherwise, it isn’t necessarily surprising that the Phillies would want to bring in one of the most successful top baseball execs. Dombrowski doesn’t do it quite like all the other execs these days – he’s been notoriously more aggressive in win-now moves – but he’s flat-out had success. Now we find out what the approach will be for the Phillies going forward under Dombrowski. He didn’t sign on for a rebuild, but the team has been pretty clear that payroll cuts are coming for 2021.
That said, yes, it did just become slightly more plausible that the Phillies are a trade partner for the Cubs.