PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Klentak has stepped down as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies after a third straight September collapse left the team out of the postseason for the ninth consecutive season.
Klentak will be reassigned to another position in the organization and Ned Rice will serve as interim general manager until the Phillies hire someone to run baseball operations.
Klentak was hired in October 2015 by team President Andy MacPhail after serving as assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Angels for four seasons. The Phillies were 326-382 in five seasons under Klentak.
“I have stated publicly that winning is what matters, not just in Philadelphia but in all cities and in all sports,” Phillies managing partner John Middleton said in a statement Saturday. “While Matt made many significant contributions to the organization, we did not accomplish our goal of playing baseball in October. Consequently, we have mutually agreed to allow new leadership to head baseball operations.”
Klentak’s biggest move was signing Bryce Harper to a $330 million, 13-year deal, though Middleton played a major role in that. Klentak also acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins, trading away top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez to get him.
But Klentak failed to sign Realmuto to a contract extension and he is set to become a free agent after the World Series.
Klentak inherited Pete Mackanin as manager and made a switch after the 2017 season, hiring Gabe Kapler. The Phillies went 161-163 under Kapler before Middleton overruled Klentak and MacPhail and fired him last year. First-year manager Joe Girardi was 28-32 this season.
The Phillies went 1-7 in their final eight games. They would’ve made the postseason with two wins in those eight games.
“While I am disappointed that we failed to reach our ultimate goal, I am nevertheless very proud of the progress that this organization made over the last five years and of the people who worked so hard to make it happen,” Klentak said. “I am grateful for all of the support that I received along the way from Phillies ownership, friends and colleagues, and our loyal Phillies fans.”