Phillies hire Sandberg to manage triple A

Former Chicago Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg is the new manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Phillies have hired Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg to be their manager at triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2011.

Sandberg, originally drafted by the Phillies in 1978 and then infamously traded to Chicago with Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus, will finally make his return to the organization.

The 51-year-old former second baseman replaces Dave Huppert, who managed the Phillies' triple-A affilliate for the past three seasons.

Sandberg, who was first reported as a candidate by The Inquirer, spent the last four seasons as a manager in the Chicago Cubs farm system.

He had hoped to take over the Cubs managerial job but Chicago stuck with interim manager Mike Quade. Sandberg was looking for a major-league opening but instead chose the Phillies' minor-league vacancy.

In 2010, he managed at triple-A Iowa and was named the manager of the year in the Pacific Coast League.

"I really liked the way his team played," a National League scout said. "I liked the way they ran the bases."

Sandberg started his managerial career in 2007 with the Cubs' single-A Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League. After two seasons with Peoria, he was promoted to double-A Tennessee of the Southern League.

The Phillies said in a statement they will announce the remainder of their player development staff at a later date.