Phillies Deny Report of Big Changes

Club refutes reporting by Howard Eskin.

UPDATE: The Phillies have released a statement on Howard Eskin’s report of the Phillies’ ownership shakeup, and have denied any forthcoming changes to the partnership.

[Original 6:05 a.m.]Big changes are coming to the Phillies, Howard Eskin reports — and in fact the changing of the guard began to take place earlier in the season.

According to Eskin, the changes break down like this:

• Team President David Montgomery is losing much of his power — and in fact, his leave of absence for cancer treatment this season was partially a pretext for allowing him to step back in favor of new management. Montgomery is seen as too loyal to aging players to effectively rebuild the team, Eskin said.

• Minority owner John Middleton — he owns 48 percent of the franchise — is attempting to acquire majority control of the team.

• The Phillies are attempting to trade Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels — the former to be rid of an albatross (though they’ll still pay most of his contract) and the latter to restock a depleted farm system.

[CBS Philly]