While the Phillies have yet to interview anyone for their open general manager’s position, the Los Angeles Angels are casting a wide net in their search for a new GM.
According to the Orange County Register, the Angels have interviewed 11 candidates, including former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.
Amaro, 55, led Phillies baseball operations from late 2008 until September 2015. He was fired shortly after Andy MacPhail took over as club president. MacPhail hired Matt Klentak to succeed Amaro in October 2015. Klentak was demoted last month after failing to post a winning season in five years as GM.
Citing the pandemic and what figures to be a slow developing free agent market this winter, the Phillies are in no rush to fill their GM vacancy. Ned Rice, who had been Klentak’s top assistant, is filling the role on an interim basis and it’s not out of the question that he would continue to do so for the 2021 season.
Amaro was a Phillies assistant GM for a decade before taking over the top job when Pat Gillick stepped aside after the Phils won the 2008 World Series. Under Amaro, the Phils won National League East titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and made it back to the World Series in 2009. The Phils lost to the New York Yankees in that World Series.
After being let go by the Phillies, Amaro served as first base coach for the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. He also served as a front office adviser/scout with the Mets. He spent the 2020 season serving as a TV commentator on Phillies broadcasts on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Amaro has a long history with the Angels. He was drafted by that club out of Stanford University in 1987 and made his big-league debut as a player with the team in 1991. Joe Maddon was one of Amaro’s coaches in the minor leagues. Maddon is now the Angels' manager. With the Mets, Amaro worked on manager Mickey Callaway’s staff. Callaway is now the Angels' pitching coach.
The Angels are looking to fill their GM job in the next few weeks. They have reportedly finished their first round of interviews. After going the analytics route with their previous two GM hires, the Angels are said to be looking for more of a traditional GM, one who can build a pitching staff and help deliver a deep playoff run and a championship while superstar Mike Trout and All-Star Anthony Rendon are still in their prime.
From Cliff Lee to Roy Halladay to Roy Oswalt to Pedro Martinez to Jonathan Papelbon to Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin, Amaro secured some quality pitching during his time in Philadelphia.