Monday, November 3, 2008

Ruben Amaro Jr. to take over for Gillick

No surprise here, but the Philadelphia Phillies are expected to name Ruben Amaro Jr. as their new general manager, taking over for the apparently retired Pat Gillick.

First and foremost for Amaro will be signing ace left-hander Cole Hamels to a long-term extension. The same goes for Ryan Howard.

It will be interesting to see what Gillick does. By all accounts he does not want the day-to-day grind that being a big league GM entails. He could, though, wind up as a special advisor to some team.

Here is the release from the Phillies:


Ruben Amaro, Jr. has been named Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, David Montgomery, President, CEO and General Partner, announced today. Amaro, who signed a three-year contract, succeeds Pat Gillick, who fulfilled his three-year contract on October 31, 2008.

Amaro, 43, who has served for the last 10 years as the club's Assistant GM, was hired by former Phillies General Manager Ed Wade in 1998. Since 2005, he has worked with Gillick in helping the Phillies become the two-time National League East Division Champions and 2008 World Champions.

"I am honored that David has given me the opportunity to serve as General Manager," said Amaro. "I will work hard to continue to build on the world class foundation provided by our previous GMs."

As Assistant General Manager, Amaro was involved in 40-man roster and major league free agent contract negotiations, including those players eligible for salary arbitration. He also assisted Gillick in the decision-making process of major league players and staff, which included trades, player movements and hirings.

Amaro becomes the fourth minority General Manager currently working in Major League Baseball and the second current Hispanic GM. Prior to joining the Phillies' front office, Amaro spent parts of eight seasons in the major leagues, five with Philadelphia. He appeared in 485 major league games and batted .235 with 16 home runs and 100 RBI. Amaro played for the 1993 NL Champion Phillies and 1995 AL Champion Indians.

"Ruben has been an integral part of our organization since joining the front office in 1998," said Montgomery. "We look forward to him continuing the momentum created with our 2008 championship season."

"Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to work closely with and mentor Ruben," said Gillick. "I am confident in his ability to lead our world championship team."

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Amaro was a batboy for the Phillies from 1980-83 when his father, Ruben Sr., a former shortstop with the club, was first base coach. He is a 1983 graduate of the William Penn Charter School, where he played both baseball and soccer. In 1987, he earned a BS degree in human biology from Stanford University and was a member of the 1987 NCAA Baseball Championship team. Ruben Sr. and Ruben Jr. are the only father-son combination to ever play for the Phillies.

Amaro is actively involved in the community. He is co-founder of the Richie Ashburn Foundation, which provides free baseball camps for 1,100 underprivileged children in the Delaware Valley and awards grants for area schools and colleges. He also serves on the board for the Philadelphia chapter of the YMCA.

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