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Fallout For Philadelphia's New GM

When the Phillies officially named Ruben Amaro Jr. their new GM at a press conference this morning -- a move that was widely reported last week -- the move was largely met with acclaim.

And why shouldn't it be? Amaro's arrival at Philadelphia's helm is the culmination of a Cinderfella story, a former Phillies bat boy who worked his way up through the organization until he became the right-hand man for now retired general manager Pat Gillick.

But for all the praise that can be sent Amaro's way, there's also reason for concern. When Amaro got the job, he became the head-man at the expense of longtime Phillies scouting director Mike Arbuckle, the 58 year-old rudder of a proud institution that has thrived in the draft. Who has Arbuckle drafted? The list starts with one of the youngest gems in the game, Ryan Howard (a fifth-round pick), Chase Utley (first-round pick), Pat Burrell (first round, first overall) and Jimmy Rollins (first round).

Sure, three of that quartet came with the expectations of first round selections, but it's hard to argue with such high returns, too.

Arbuckle's decision creates two divergent plot lines. First, Amaro has to find a new man to run the team's scouting division, keeping in mind that some allegiances within that staff may already be drawn to Arbuckle. For that reason alone, it makes sense that Amaro would pick someone from within the Phillies organization itself, and he's certainly in position to know exactly who might be a good fit.

Meanwhile, Arbuckle suddenly becomes a fascinating, 58 year-old free agent (when was the last time you heard that?). Any team that needs a top-notch scout will probably be on the phone. The bigger question may revolve around whether Arbuckle is willing to start over with another organization in need of a young overhaul, or whether he would be willing to play a smaller role with another prime-time organization, like former Royals GM Alain Baird did when he joined the Red Sox front office before the 2007 season.

Naturally, both developments bear watching, just two of a host of stories out there in the ether as the General Managers' meetings open in earnest with their annual dinner tonight in Dana Point, Calif.

By Cameron Smith  |  November 3, 2008; 4:07 PM ET
Categories:  Phillies  
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Next: Mostly Quiet on the GM Western Front

Comments

Arbuckle would be a fine addition for the Nats. There is still room on this staff. Rizzo, Brown, and company could always use one more -- especially this year with multiple first rounders.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 3, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I think you mean "Allard" Baird. Perhaps Alain Baird is his French-Canadian cousin who is an assistant GM of the Montreal Canadiens ... ;)

Posted by: JoeDalhart | November 5, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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