The Milwaukee Brewers officially announced on Tuesday that they have hired former Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak as a special assistant to the general manager and president of baseball operations.
Klentak worked as the Phillies’ general manager for five seasons between 2016-2020, making notable acquisitions like Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto and Zack Wheeler to build a promising core in Philadelphia. However, the team was unable to get over the hump and qualify for the postseason — a drought that has now lasted for over a decade.
Even worse, the Phillies have been unable to post a winning record despite having one of the top 10 payrolls in all of baseball over the last two seasons.
Philadelphia never posted a winning record while Klentak was at the helm; their best result being an 81-81 2019 campaign that suggested things would finally turn around. But the Phillies finished 28-32 in the shortened 2020 campaign — seven games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves.
The 10-year playoff drought still isn’t even the Phillies’ longest stretch without a playoff appearance over the last 30 years. They didn’t reach the playoffs for 13 straight seasons ranging from 1994-2006. That was after a World Series appearance in 1993 ended another sizable drought of nine years.
While Dave Dombrowski was brought on as team president following the 2020 season, Klentak was dismissed from his role and demoted to a newly-created strategy and development officer — a position in which he served since that winter.
Klentak will now be working under two of the more lauded baseball minds in the game in Brewers president David Stearns and general manager Matt Arnold — both of whom were recent targets of the Phillies’ division rivals, the New York Mets, for front-office jobs.
The Brewers have made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons but have been unable to replicate the postseason success from their run to the NLCS in 2018, which was their third playoff appearance since 1983.