PHILADELPHIA -- Ruben Amaro Jr. reportedly will become the Phillies' next general manager, with an official announcement expected on Monday. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, citing "sources close to the situation," club president Dave Montgomery met Friday with Mike Arbuckle, the team's assistant general manager, scouting and player development -- and the other strong candidate for the position -- and told him that Amaro was given the job. The Phillies declined to comment on the Daily News report, which also said that Arbuckle told Montgomery that he will be leaving after 16 seasons. Arbuckle is from Missouri, leading to speculation that he could help rebuild the Royals.
As the club's assistant general manager, Amaro long has been speculated as the man who would succeed Pat Gillick, the 71-year-old who was hired three years ago. Gillick's contract expired Oct. 31, and he has long stated his intention to step down. Amaro, 43, served as a batboy for the Phillies from 1980-83, and played for the Phillies from 1992-93 and 1996-98. He moved into the front office after retiring as a player. Bilingual and a graduate of Stanford, Amaro has been heavily involved in many aspects of baseball operations in recent years, especially contract negotiations. Arbuckle's departure would be a significant blow to the organization. Under his watch, he and scouting director Marti Wolever supervised Drafts that secured Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, while also signing players like Carlos Ruiz out of Panama. Arbuckle also drafted the six players who landed Brad Lidge and Joe Blanton in trades. If Arbuckle were to end up with another organization, it's possible he would take others with him. "If Pat is affirming his decision to retire, changes are going to be made, and I don't know what the fallout is from that," Montgomery said, on Thursday. "But Pat has been so inclusive that I think we have developed a deeper pipeline [of qualified people] than we ever had in baseball operations before." The Phillies said they wanted to name Gillick's replacement by Monday, when the GM meetings begin in California.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.