The Phillies are interested in two of the Dodgers’ front office executives.
Fun fact: the Philadelphia Phillies have the longest playoff drought of any team in the National League. That’s quite frankly embarrassing, which explains their relentlessness in trying to find a new, high-profile front office executive to push them in the right direction.
But now it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ problem (sort of). According to the latest buzz via Jayson Stark of The Athletic, the Phillies are interested in LA’s senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes as well as assistant general manager Jeff Kingston.
Perhaps the Phillies don’t realize that the system runs through president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. We’re not saying Byrnes and Kingston aren’t respected executives, but when former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi left for the San Francisco Giants two years ago, nobody really batted an eye.
Zaidi is an extremely knowledgable baseball mind, but the Giants had to have known the blueprint in LA comes from Friedman. Zaidi formerly worked under general manager Billy Beane with the Oakland Athletics — another legendary front office figure — so he wasn’t exactly instilling a philosophy across either organization in his previous jobs.
And the same goes for Kingston and Bynes. Kingston worked under general manager Jerry Dipoto with the Seattle Mariners while Byrnes was the general manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2005-2010) and San Diego Padres (2011-2014) before coming over to LA. That combined nine years of experience for Byrnes yielded just one playoff appearance (an NLCS sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies in 2007) and two winning records (one came that year, and the other was an 82-80 mark in 2008).
It’s just further evidence the Phillies think that merely diving into the Dodgers front office is going to yield immediate championship results. Ya can’t copy us!
You’ll need to get your hands on Friedman if you want that to be a reality. And that’s not happening.
At the very least, the Phillies have the right idea. They’re targeting Theo Epstein as well as Dodgers’ employees to try and get this team back on track. But they’re not digging deep enough. Epstein is too obvious of a choice and he’s already stated he wants to take a year off. Kingston and Byrnes are just experienced execs who know how to successfully operate under a fluid system … it’s either yet to be proven they can run one themselves or fully proven that they cannot.
Best of luck to the Phils. But if you take one of those guys, just know Friedman probably has his replacement already in mind.