Sep 10, 2015 3:42 PM by CBS Sports - Mike Axisa
Ruben Amaro Jr. is out as Phillies GM. On Thursday, the team announced they will not extend Amaro's contract as senior vice president and general manager. Assistant GM Scott Proefrock takes over as the interim GM, effective immediately.
"It's never an easy decision to make a change," incoming team president Andy MacPhail said in a statement. "Ruben has had a direct impact on some of the best years in the team's history. He helped to create some great memories for Phillies fans with his accomplishments, but in order to return to a top-contending club, we believe this is the right thing to do as we continue the rebuilding process."
"The Phillies ownership fully supports Andy's decision not to extend Ruben Amaro's contract," added partner John Middleton. "As a group, we have tremendous respect for Ruben, who has been a significant contributor to this organization. This decision is about taking the club in a new direction and that will be facilitated by new leadership."
Amaro, 50, has been with the Phillies since 1998. He served as assistant GM under Ed Wade and Pat Gillick before taking over as GM following the 2008 season. Amaro played eight seasons in the big leagues as an outfielder, including three with the Phillies, before joining Philadelphia's front office.
The writing has been on the wall for Amaro since the Phillies announced MacPhail was coming on board back in July. Amaro had been on the hot seat for a few years prior to that. The Phillies enjoyed tremendous success from 2009-11 under Amaro, including winning the 2009 NL pennant and 102 games in 2011.
The club has since devolved into the worst teams in baseball thanks to a string of bad contracts, bad trades and bad player development. The Phillies finally embraced a full-on rebuild last offseason and have since traded most of their veteran for prospects.
Among his most notable moves, Amaro traded for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence, then re-signed Lee as a free agent. He also gave Ryan Howard a five-year, $125 million extension that has been nothing short of a disaster.
It's unclear how involved Amaro was during the team's deadline wheeling and dealing. Cole Hamels was traded away at the trade deadline and franchise icon Chase Utley was dealt in August. Jimmy Rollins was moved in the offseason.
There are now five teams with a GM opening: The Phillies, Red Sox, Angels, Brewers and Mariners. The Marlins technically do not have a GM either after shifting Dan Jennings into the dugout and naming him manager earlier this year.
The Phillies say they will begin a search for Amaro's permanent replacement immediately.
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