New Phillies president Andy MacPhail introduced the team's new general manager, Matt Klentak, on Monday in an 11 a.m. news conference at Citizens Bank Park.
MacPhail's hiring of Klentak, last an assistant general manager with the Los Angeles Angels, came after an extensive search that heated up after the Phillies' Oct. 4 season finale. Oakland Athletics assistant general manager Dan Kantrovitz and Tampa Bay Rays vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom, a Wynnewood native, were finalists for the position, according to MLB.com.
Klentak was long viewed as a strong candidate to land the job because of his close ties to MacPhail, formerly president of the Baltimore Orioles. With the Orioles, MacPhail hired Klentak to be his director of baseball operations in March 2008, when Klentak was only 27 years old.
Klentak graduated from Dartmouth College in 2002 with an economics degree. He played baseball for the Big Green, a three-year starter at shortstop and team captain as a senior. He will become the second active major-league GM who is a Dartmouth graduate. Sandy Alderson, architect of the National League champion New York Mets, is a 1969 graduate of the Ivy League school.
The Colorado Rockies gave Klentak his start in professional baseball in 2003, bringing him aboard as an intern in their baseball operations department. From there he moved on to a gig in Major League Baseball's labor relations department, where he worked for four years and first encountered MacPhail during 2006 labor negotiations.
Klentak spent the last four seasons with the Angels, his role only increasing after general manager Jerry Dipoto resigned July 1 amid renewed friction with manager Mike Scioscia. Klentak interviewed for the Angels' GM opening that went to Billy Eppler, formerly an assistant GM with the New York Yankees.
The introductory news conference on Monday took place the same day the Phillies' front office began its annual organizational meetings at the team's facility in Clearwater, Fla. Klentak will represent his new organization at the annual general managers' meetings from Nov. 9 to 12 in Boca Raton, Fla.
Klentak replaces Ruben Amaro Jr. who was fired on Sept. 10 after nearly seven years as the Phillies' GM. According to several reports, including the Boston Globe, Amaro is set to become the Boston Red Sox' new first-base coach in a surprise career transition.