MIAMI — As the Phillies' rebuild has progressed to the point of postseason contention, team officials have often referred to a deep, productive farm system as the lifeline of the resurgence.
But now, one of the top lieutenants of that replenished farm system is stepping aside.
Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development, won't return next season, the team confirmed Tuesday morning after The Athletic reported the news. Jordan was hired after the 2011 season by former general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and retained when Matt Klentak took over as general manager after the 2015 season.
Jordan, 56, has had a profound influence on the construction of a roster that is contending for the National League East crown. Of the players on the 40-man roster, 27 spent time developing or sharpening their skills in the Phillies' farm system.
"I recently had a conversation with Joe, during which he informed me that he plans to pursue other opportunities this fall," general manager Matt Klentak said in a statement. "He was extremely professional and appreciative for the opportunity that the Phillies have given him for these past seven years."
Within the past year, the Phillies have incorporated more of the data-driven analysis that they rely on so heavily at the major-league level into their daily minor-league operations. To wit: Ben Werthan was hired from the Baltimore Orioles as a minor-league player information coordinator.
Jordan comes from a scouting background, having served as the Orioles' amateur scouting director before joining the Phillies. Jordan was responsible for drafting, among others, Manny Machado with the third overall pick in the 2010 draft. His established relationship was Machado was considered by some to give the Phillies a possible edge in any recruitment of the star shortstop as a free agent this winter.
"I have known Joe since 2008 when we first began working together in Baltimore," Klentak said. "In that time, I have known him to be a hard worker, loyal colleague and good friend. I am grateful for his contributions to the Phillies during his tenure, and I am confident that he will continue to do great things in the baseball industry in his next endeavor."
Jordan has not responded to a request for comment.
Klentak said the Phillies will begin conducting a search to replace Jordan "in the near future."