PHILLIES’ MACPHAIL HIRING IMMINENT — BYE-BYE RUBEN AMARO JR.!

By Sam Bush

The long good-bye for woeful Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. will speed up next week, if a report by CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman is accurate.

The Phillies plan to hire respected longtime baseball executive Andy MacPhail (above) to lead their operations soon, people familiar with the team’s thinking said.

MacPhail, a former top executive with the Orioles, Cubs and Twins, is expected to be tabbed for the role of president or similar, with Hall of Famer Pat Gillick expected to move over to a consultant job similar to the one he held before taking the president’s job not too long ago will fill while Dave Montgomery recovered from cancer surgery.

MacPhail’s appointment may be announced within a week or so.

Gillick, the Phillies’ GM at the time of their 2008 World Series title, had suggested in the Inquirer story that the hope is to give the team’s new baseball leader proper time to evaluate Amaro and manager Ryne Sandberg, a Hall of Famer as Cubs second baseman.

The Phillies, currently in last place in the NL East, won 73 games each of the past two seasons after a stretch of 80-plus victories 12 years running, including two World Series appearances, including the 2008 World Series championship. But current Phillies leadership, including Gillck, who had ultra-successful GM stays with the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies (he was GM for the ’08 title), have suggested the team is in a rebuilding process that may well take a few years.

MacPhail, 62, guided the Twins to two World Series titles as their GM before serving as president/CEO of the Cubs and baseball president of the Orioles. A couple of his trades, including one with Seattle that brought Adam Jones and Chris Tillman to Baltimore in a deal for Erick Bedard, have contributed to the team’s latest resurgence.

Mongtomery, a universally beloved figure in baseball circles, has stayed on with the Phillies but in a somewhat reduced role as he recovers. He is said to be recovering nicely.

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