This just in. . .
Ruben Amaro Jr. is the new Phillies general manager.
Sources close to the situation confirmed to the Daily News' Paul Hagen that club president Dave Montgomery met with assistant general manager, scouting and player development Mike Arbuckle yesterday and informed him that he had lost out to Amaro in what had been considered a two-man sweepstakes.
Arbuckle, who was hired by former general manager Lee Thomas before the 1993 season, then informed Montgomery that he will be leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities, the sources continued.
An official announcement is expected Monday.
UPDATE: The Phillies have just confirmed our report and will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Monday.
The decision to hire Amaro, 43, is hardly a shock. There was strong speculation when Pat Gillick was hired three years ago that he was brought in, in part, to mentor the young assistant.
Amaro, who was often presented as the public face of the Phillies front office as Gillick preferred to operate of the spotlight, is heavily involved in many aspects of the organization, including contract negotiations. It was Amaro who introduced closer Brad Lidge and spoke for the organization when the Phillies announced his contract extension earlier this season.
Amaro has strong Phillies ties. His father, Ruben Sr., played for the Phillies and then worked for the team in a number of capacities. Ruben Jr. was a batboy for the Phillies from 1980 through 1983, and also played for the Phils in 1992-93 and 1996-98. He is also bilingual and a graduate of Stanford.
Nevertheless, Arbuckle's qualifications merited strong consideration. One of the first things Montgomery mentioned on the field in the giddy moments of euphoria after the Phillies clinched the team’s first World Series title since 1980 on Wednesday night was the “many homegrown players” who had made it possible.
And it was Arbuckle, 58, who supervised the drafts that netted Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Brett Myers, Pat Burrell and Carlos Ruiz. It was also the system that provided the players (Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, Mike Costanzo) that allowed Gillick to acquire Brad Lidge last November.
It remains to be seen if others in the scouting and player development department will follow Arbuckle out the door.
Amaro, who has been mentioned as a candidate for several general manager positions over the past few offseasons, will represent the Phillies at the GM meetings in California starting Monday.