Phils Likely To Go Outside To Replace Wade

The Phillies will be hunting for a new general manager. There will definitely be at least a couple "insiders" that will be considered and likely interview. However, there are more candidates - and many of them are more attractive - waiting for an interview from outside the organization.

The Phillies haven't always been the ones to look for the biggest, most attractive name to fill a spot. They're not an organization known for always pursuing the brightest and the best.

Instead, they tend to look for someone that they'll feel comfortable with and that can handle the tough Philadelphia sports environment. The general concensus is that they'll go outside the organization for their next general manager, but may be interested in bringing a local boy - Gerry Hunsicer - into their front office. In fact, Hunsicker is thought to have a better shot than bigger names like Thoe Epstein and Brian Cashman who may be available in the next couple of weeks.

Remember, that Dave Montgomery has said that the next general manager will make the final call on manager Charlie Manuel and his coaches. He'll also face some tough calls on players like Vicente Padilla who are due for big pay raises through arbitration.

With all that in mind, here are some of the likely suspects that are likely to be forwarding resumes to the Phillies:

Dallas Green: Let's start here, just so we can move on to other possibilities. Dallas Green won't be the next GM of the Phillies. It's likely that neither side wants to go there. Green is happy serving as somewhat of a hatchet man and jack of all trades type guy for Dave Montgomery. The Phillies haven't always been real big on trying to recapture past glory, with the possible exception of Larry Bowa and we all know how that went. It is possible that Green will be a stopgap, interim choice, but he won't stay in the job for too long.

Mike Arbuckle: Not too long ago, Arbuckle was one of the top prospects to be a general manager. His star has fallen since then and while he is still considered one of the better baseball folks when it comes to judging talent, many believe that he is best suited to sticking in dealing with preparing a team for the draft and giving some input on other issues when asked, but he may not be top GM talent. The odds of Arbuckle getting the job aren't very high. Had Wade been dismissed a couple seasons ago, it's likely that Arbuckle would have been the front runner, not to mention a very popular choice for the job.

Ruben Amaro, Jr.: This is a guy who has lived in Wade's shadow since he started to rise through the Phillies' front office. Amaro is smart and has negotiated many of the contracts that the Phillies have signed with both their own players and free agents who have come to town. That's not to say that it was Amaro who decided on the amount of money that's given to a player, but he's been the one to put everything together and get the deal signed. It's interesting that Montgomery has tabbed Amaro to join him Wednesday for a discussion with potential free agent closer Billy Wagner. It could be Montgomery tipping his hand a little and/or looking to get a first hand look at what Amaro can do. If Amaro is picked for the job, it likely won't be a popular choice, since most fans want the Phillies to go outside the organization for their next GM.

Steve Noworyta: Serving as the Director of Minor League Operations, Noworyta has given a lot of input into players, including who may and may not be expendable. He's been somewhat of a partner with Arbuckle in preparing for the draft and has gained some respect both within the organization and around baseball in general. He is definitely a longshot to say the least, but deserves mention.

Gerry Hunsicker: Most folks believe that Hunsicker, who lives in nearby Montgomery County and graduated from St.Joe's University is a classy choice. He did a somewhat amazing job in rebuilding the Astros in his tenure from 1995 to 2004. Hunsicker is credited with building four teams that won division titles and another that won the NL Wild Card. He had a year off from baseball to refuel somewhat and is figured to interview and be a front runner for almost each and every GM job that is open or will come open around the majors. You have to figure that Hunsicker would be someone that the Phillies would want to talk to and that the Phillies would be an organization that Hunsicker would want to talk to as well.

Brian Cashman / Theo Epstein: The Yankees and Red Sox could both have new general managers next season. It's hard to believe, but both GMs have contracts that expire at the end of October and neither appears to have their respective club begging them to come back even though they're two of the most respected and successful GMs in the business. One interesting scenario would be for them to switch jobs, but that won't happen. Both are looking for challenges and especially in the case of Cashman, are looking to have more direct power than they have now. Philadelphia would be a great fit for either of them if they do become available, but they're going to be much in demand and their price won't be cheap. The Red Sox have one of the hot GM prospects in Josh Byrnes. Byrnes is one reason why the Red Sox aren't falling all over themselves to re-sign Epstein, since he could step right into the job. Byrnes himself will be a hot commodity and could talk with the Phillies.

Steve Phillips: The former Mets GM has been an analyst for a couple seasons now, but would love to return to a front office. It's not that the Mets became a dominant club during his reign with New York, but Phillips has respect around the baseball community. He could be an interesting fit for Tampa Bay and the Rangers are also reportedly somewhat intrigued with the possibility of hiring Phillips.

Jim Bowden: Like Cashman and Epstein, Bowden's contract expires at the end of the month. There will eventually be new owners with the Nationals and Bowden could be out of a job at some point in the near future. It's likely that Bowden will let clubs know that he is interested in a more stable situation and some clubs could listen. He's not big on developing minor league systems and is actually better known for dealing prospects to get veteran players. He has always been one of the more active general managers in the game and is never afraid to make a deal, no matter how big or small it may be.

John Hart: The now former GM of the Texas Rangers isn't as highly respected as he was a few years ago. Somehow, a lot of the moves that he made with Texas backfired, but he did have some successes. He's probably going to get a couple interviews with clubs, but could be somewhat of a consolation prize for clubs that miss out on Cashman, Epstein or Hunsicker.

Chris Antonetti: One of the names that you'll be hearing this winter is Antonetti's. If the Phillies don't pursue him, they may be in the minority. Antonetti has been a key, right-hand man in the rebuilding effort that the Indians have undergone. He's served as their assistant general manager under Mark Shapiro, one of the best in the game.

Wayne Krivsky: He's sort of the Willie Randolph of the GM set. Krivsky's name comes up a lot when teams are looking for a new GM and he's interviewed a couple times without getting a job. The smart money is that eventually, someone will hire him, but it might not be this winter. Krivsky has negotiated a lot of the contracts that the Twins have given out over the past couple seasons and is used to working with a fairly small budget. The Phillies likely won't look too long at Krivsky, but someone else might, especially in a small market.


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