Promising Phillies GM candidate is staying put instead


Thad Levine is Grampa Simpson and the Phillies were the house of ill repute where Bart worked.

The Phillies, according to Minneapolis' ABC affiliate, received permission from the Twins to interview general manager Thad Levine for their vacant head of baseball operations position, which is expected to carry a title higher than GM. 

Shortly after that news came out Friday, it was reported that Levine is no longer a candidate and prefers to stay in Minnesota.

The whole thing lasted less than a day, publicly. The Twins may have given Levine a lil’ financial sweetener to stay.

Levine, 49, has been Minnesota’s GM since 2016, working under 37-year-old Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey. The pair was hired after a 103-loss season, the Twins’ worst since 1949. The Twins improved by 26 wins in their first year, and two seasons later won 101 games.

Levine also turned down the Mets two years ago when they sought an interview.

The Twins are 300-246 under the front office regime, a full-season pace of 89 wins. Minnesota has made the playoffs in three of four years despite a player payroll that ranked no higher than 17th in any of those seasons.

This kind of candidate — an exec who has made it work and won with lesser resources — should be the kind that catches the Phillies’ eye. The Phils have ended the last two seasons ranked 5th and 8th in payroll and failed to win more games than they lost both years.

On Friday, Jim Salisbury reported that Michael Hill and Josh Byrnes will have second interviews for the Phillies’ front-office job vacated by Matt Klentak at the beginning of October. Hill is the former general manager and president of baseball operations with the Marlins. Byrnes is senior vice president of baseball operations for the Dodgers. He's been with them since 2014 after stints as general manager with the Diamondbacks and Padres.

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