Ruben Amaro Jr. Out as Phillies GM
Ruben Amaro Jr. is no longer general manager of the Phillies.
In a pair of tweets today, the Phillies announced Amaro had been relieved of his duties. Scott Proefrock, the assistant GM, has been named interim general manager. The Phillies will name a new general manager this offseason.
Amaro, a Rhawnhurst native, played eight seasons in the majors — including four with the Phillies. (He even had a brief stint on the 1993 team.) Amaro had been with the Phillies front office since his playing career ended in 1998. He rose through the ranks and became general manager on November 1, 2008, after Pat Gillick retired.
At first, fans thought Amaro was a genius. He traded for Cliff Lee and signed Pedro Martinez to bolster the rotation in 2009; the Phillies went to the World Series. That offseason, he dealt Lee and acquired Roy Halladay. In 2010, Halladay won the Cy Young, pitched a perfect game in the regular season and a no-hitter in the playoffs. Amaro’s rentals, including Hunter Pence in 2011, generally performed well during the Phillies’ run of division titles.
But his reputation for brilliance faded as the years went on. His 5-year, $125 million contract with Ryan Howard was derided immediately; after he was fired, Charlie Manuel said the roster wasn’t good enough. In one memorable misstep, the Phillies relied on seven-year-old scouting reports when signing Delmon Young. The Phillies went from the World Series to the NLCS to the NLDS to a .500 record. They’ve had three losing seasons in a row.
Oddly enough, 2015 was probably one of the best years of Amaro’s tenure. The haul the Phillies picked up for Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon and Ben Revere was lauded (or at least not trashed) by many baseball experts.
Fans had been clamoring for his ouster for years. Andy MacPhail was named team president earlier this year, which seemed like the beginning of the end of Amaro’s tenure.
One possible replacement for Amaro, according to Kansas City Star Royals beat writer Andy McCullough, is Kansas City assistant GM J.J. Picollo. The South Jersey native is well-respected in baseball circles and is even already a member of the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame.
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Previously: Ruben Amaro Jr. Is the Worst Executive in Sports