Matt Klentak was stripped by the Phillies of his general manager’s duties the first week of October but is still in the organization, even after Dave Dombrowski was hired this week as the new president of baseball operations.
Klentak, whose contract does not expire until after 2022, was reassigned within the Phils’ front office back on October 3, though his duties remain unclear.
Asked Friday what sort of role Klentak may or may not have moving forward, Dombrowski said this:
“Well, I spoke to Matt (Thursday), actually. I’ve known Matt for years. I have a great deal of respect for him. He’s a very smart individual. He said he would help however he possibly could. I talked to him about some things. And I said you know what, I would love to consult with you more and happy to talk to you. So yes. I mean, I’ll use Matt. I’ll see what he feels comfortable doing.
“It was interesting because he said ‘Dave, I want the Phillies to win. I want to see them win. Anything I can do to help you, I want to do, so just ask me anything.’
“So I will talk to Matt in the future, what role he’ll fill, I guess we can wait and see who’s doing what at this point, which I don’t know of everybody yet. But yeah, I have a great deal of respect for Matt, and we hope to have him part of the decision-making process when we talk about things.”
It would be a pretty unusual arrangement if Klentak did stay on in a meaningful role. Sure, he knows the organization inside and out having served as the GM for five years, but he was removed from that role because his moves didn’t work, nor did his front office’s general philosophies about building up the Phillies. It would not be surprising if Klentak quietly walked away before his contract expires.
Dombrowski has a lot of work to do and fast. He’ll spend the next few weeks getting acclimated to the Phillies’ structure, which is more challenging with everyone working remotely. Dombrowski himself is in Nashville for the time being.
Klentak is not the only person Dombrowski plans to consult. He also looks forward to gathering thoughts from Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick, World Series-winning manager Charlie Manuel and Phillies lifer Larry Bowa, all front-office advisors and legends here.
“I’ve known Pat for years, since I started back in 1978,” Dombrowski said. “I consider him actually a friend throughout the time period. I’ve been around him and his wife Doris. Pat’s one of the best baseball men over my timeframe in the game. I definitely will reach out to him and welcome his feedback with everything, as well as our other advisors. You’ve got Charlie Manuel, Larry Bowa’s there. There’s some impressive people I’ll have a conversation with when the time allows.”