Yankees GM Brian Cashman, believed to be Phillies president David Montgomery's first choice to replace Ed Wade, is expected to sign a contract extension to remain in New York.
Meanwhile, the candidate considered the front runner among fans, former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, had reportedly not been contacted for an interview, as reported in today’s Inquirer.
It has also been reported that Montgomery would prefer to hire from outside the organization, but one can’t help but think Ruben Amaro Jr. and Mike Arbuckle have moved higher up on the list of possibilities.
Amaro and Arbuckle are expected to interview this week, with Amaro already involved in offseason affairs, including the organizational meetings and negotiations with closer Billy Wagner.
To my knowledge, since Wade was fired Oct. 10, the Phils have not started on the interview process, nor have they revealed a list of candidates. Meanwhile, Cashman and former Mets GM Jim Duquette have moved off the big board, with Duquette becoming vice president in Baltimore.
Beerleaguer: If Montgomery intends to hire from outside, then what in the name of all that is holy is he waiting for?
With free agency and winter meetings fast approaching, it would be ideal to have a GM in place with enough time to draft a plan to acquire starting pitching. The most pressing task remains a postseason birth, with starting pitching as the key. Minor league development and restructuring are next on the list. And wouldn't it be nice to have an authority figure with enough clout to levy fines if Vicente Padilla throws one more pitch in Nicaragua?
The team did its part to give them something to build on this season. It was a good year, with a nucleus that should keep them in the mix in '06. Now it's time for the organization's leadership to step up to the plate, if that's even possible.
Let's be realistic. If I’m setting odds, I’m making Amaro a 5-2 favorite, with Hunsicker next at 7-2. It would be very consistent with the way the Phils do business – hire from the inside first, or go with the people’s choice, which is clearly Hunsicker, a Bucks County native.
Whatever the choice, it must be handled with more urgency.