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As Andrew McCutchen celebrates his 34th birthday today, let’s check out some Phillies-related items…

  • Though owner John Middleton recently gave a strong public endorsement to team president Andy MacPhail, multiple sources tell the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber that Middleton would prefer MacPhail either retires from his post a year early, or at least steps away from baseball operations duties.  Such a move would allow for a smoother transition for a front office that is searching for a new GM after Matt Klentak stepped down from the post, as a new president of baseball operations and GM could both be hired in tandem, as opposed to hiring a general manager now and then a new president next offseason.  Staying with the combo of MacPhail as president and interim GM Ned Rice through 2021 “would seem anathema to Middleton” considering that he clearly feels changes are needed for the Phils.
  • Of the 20 Phillies players who are free agents, arbitration-eligible, or controlled by club options for 2021, The Athletic’s Matt Gelb figures only three (arb-eligibles Rhys Hoskins, Zach Eflin, and Andrew Knapp) “are locks to return” next season.  Any of the other 17 could conceivably be non-tendered or let walk depending on what kind of budgetary cuts are coming to the Philadelphia payroll, or how the Phils might need to reallocate funds to pursue other needed roster upgrades.  J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius are among that group of 17 players, so others could be let go to free up the funds necessary to re-sign at least one of that duo.
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