Didn’t think we’d be talking about Matt Klentak on January 24th, 2022, but here we are:
Former Phillies GM Matt Klentak is joining the Brewers as a special assistant, sources tell me and @MattGelb. The Phillies reassigned Klentak to a position as strategy and development officer after he stepped down as GM in Oct. 2020. Had one year left on his deal with the Phils.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2022
Klentak was hired in October of 2015 after previously serving as assistant GM for the Angels. When he “stepped down” in 2020, they moved Ned Rice to an interim GM position, and then Dave Dombrowski was brought in as Klentak’s replacement in December of that year.
This is what Bob wrote about Klentak back then:
“Matt Klentak was given exorbitant financial resources but was unable to push the team to the next step. Time might show that he helped construct some of the building blocks of a winning team, but the glaring inability throughout his tenure to find value pieces or extract meaningful value from savvy and/or creative moves ultimately made this move essential. For both baseball and public relations reasons, the Phillies simply could not run things back as is again in 2021.”
You might recall that John Middleton once called Klentak an “elite” general manager. There was the Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, and David Robertson offseason, which got everybody pumped up:
“I’ve always thought this was an exceptional young man. He has great instincts. Watching him create this strategy to fill all these holes and have to do it sequentially and still leave that last big piece in the signing of Manny or Bryce — honestly, it was brilliant. I’ve always known Matt had the confidence that he could step up to the plate and deliver when the time came, but the difference is today he’s delivered and he knows that he can perform.
“This guy, really he is a full-fledged, elite GM in this game.”
Funny how quickly things change. Gabe Kapler didn’t work out here, then won NL Manager of the Year one season after being fired. Klentak seemed to be turning it around a few years back, but now he’s out entirely, and working for a different organization. Meanwhile, the last time the Phillies went to playoffs, Charlie Sheen was still working on Two and a Half Men and had yet to begin his epic meltdown.