Over the past couple of seasons, Amaro has emerged as one of the young, up-and-coming potential general managers in baseball. He's had a few interviews for head jobs in other cities, but has come up short. He also received a complimentary interview with the Phillies when they were last searching for a GM. Just recently, it looked like the GM job in Houston was Amaro's, but in the end, it went to his Wade. That brought up rumors that Amaro could head to Texas to work under Wade, but he's now in somewhat of a tough spot.
Amaro's contract - like that of manager Charlie Manuel - is up after the season and it's not out of the question that other organizations will come calling. If he jumps ship though, he likely takes himself out of consideration for the Phillies job which will open in one year when Gillick leaves - as he has said he's going to - at the end of his deal. For that reason, Amaro likely only goes elsewhere if it's to be the GM and not an assistant. It's not out of the question that the Phillies will negotiate a new deal with Amaro, which would take him from an assistant to the head man in 2009, giving him a season of work not just under Gillick, but along side of him. It would also set a clear course for the Phillies front office and avoid potential posturing that could come from a season with a lame duck GM and at least two assistants that would love to have the job.
|Mike Arbuckle gets high marks for his scouting and minor league abilities and has taken a more active, but behind the scenes role with the Phillies when it comes to Major League issues. He isn't the front runner to succeed Gillick, but can't be counted out. (Photo:Holly Oswald/PBN)|
Other front office members could get a quick look, but will likely be passed over and can hope for a promotion to assistant GM as the best possible outcome for themselves. That would include Marti Wolever and Steve Noworyta. Wolevery serves as the Phillies Director of Scouting and Noworyta handles the duties of Minor League Director.
Amaro has played a more public role under Gillick, but Arbuckle's influence and level of input on Major League issues has grown greatly since Gillick took over.
Going outside the organization is always an option. The Phillies may consider the fact that right now, Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has a contract that expires at the same time that Gillick's does and his future with the Sox is unclear. He already made one exit from the club - albeit short and temporary - and another longer and more permanent exit could be on the horizon if he finds the right opportunity. Going after such a high profile outsider would be against the grain of how the Phillies generally conduct business, but wouldn't be out of the question, especially if the Phillies string of playoff misses were to continue this season and next. Epstein could be viewed as somewhat of a savior who could come in and bring his considerable resume with him. Former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker could also be a candidate, especially considering that he has ties to the area and is well respected within the Phillies organization. Hunsicker was considered briefly for the job when Wade was shown the door and could be another key outside option for the club if they were to decide to go that way.
For now though, the speculation will continue. The Phillies would do well to fight off some of that speculation by acting quickly if they do plan on making Amaro or Arbuckle their next GM.