Phillies president David Montgomery took a leave of absence from the team in August due to jaw cancer. As a result, Pat Gillick — who was GM of the Phillies between 2006-08 — was named the interim president. Recently, FOX 29’s Howard Eskin reported that the story was a convenient cover for the team’s owners to push Montgomery out, as they blamed him for the team’s woes, including mistakenly keeping around many expensive veterans.
Eskin’s report stated that John Middleton, a minority owner, was politicking his way to forcing a vote to receive majority ownership. He currently has 48 percent ownership and no one person can have majority ownership without a vote. Furthermore, Eskin reported that along with Gillick as the team’s president, Ruben Amaro would remain GM, first baseman Ryan Howard’s time was drawing to a close in Philadelphia, and that the team would explore trading starter Cole Hamels.
The Phillies rebuked the report earlier today. Via CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury:
Phillies respond to report on leadership change pic.twitter.com/CpVYumiAo0
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) October 3, 2014
Though the report has been refuted, the Phillies may still explore moving Howard and Hamels, among others. Howard would open up a spot for Darin Ruf and/or Cody Asche (or Chase Utley) at first base, and Hamels represents the Phillies’ best avenue through which to further infuse their minor league system with talent.