The Milwaukee Brewers can’t sign big league players to contracts during the lockout, but that won’t stop them from hiring another front office executive.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Brewers have hired former Philadelphia Phillies General Manager Matt Klentak to a special assistant role in their front office.
His role is as a “special assistant” with the Brewers.
Why did the Milwaukee Brewers hire former Phillies GM Matt Klentak to a special assistant role in their front office?
The role of “special assistant” can really mean anything. Special assistants can cover a wide variety of areas within a front office. Anything from player development, to scouting, to R&D, to analytics could be covered. Heck, Craig Counsell was a special assistant in the front office before being named manager to replace Ron Roenicke.
Klentak’s specific role, if there is one, has not been named, but as a former No. 1 decision maker in Philly, he brings plenty of experience.
Unfortunately, his experience as a decision maker didn’t go too well. He was hired as the Phillies GM after the 2015 season, the same time the Brewers hired David Stearns. In his tenure, the Phillies never finished above .500 and the rebuild he was put in charge of hasn’t borne any fruit. Philly is still trying to reach the playoffs for the first time in a decade and have the second longest playoff drought in baseball.
Klentak is another Ivy League guy (Dartmouth) just like Brewers president of baseball ops David Stearns (Harvard).
While Klentak didn’t find great success as a top decision maker in Philadelphia, he is a highly qualified front office executive that should be able to find his role in a Brewers front office that is already well settled at the top.
Klentak stepped down from his role as GM in Philly following the 2020 season and was reassigned to a new role within the Phillies organization for the last year. Of course, being demoted from GM to a lower role within the same organization is a very tough pill to swallow. Klentak was likely looking for the right opportunity elsewhere to get a fresh start and Milwaukee is his choice.
Is this a sign David Stearns could leave Milwaukee after the 2022 season?
The Brewers hiring someone else with experience as an MLB GM may raise some eyebrows considering the reports that the New York Mets are holding out hope they can steal David Stearns away after the 2022 season. However, this is no cause for alarm.
Milwaukee already has an “heir apparent” in their front office in GM Matt Arnold in the extreme off-chance Stearns leaves and adding Klentak is not going to change that situation. Klentak is not going to be above Arnold or get the promotion over him again in the off-chance that Stearns would leave.
Stearns is simply recognizing that Klentak can bring some value to the Brewers front office and hired him to help make this team better.
The Brewers recently lost International Scouting Director Mike Groopman to the Boston Red Sox. Perhaps Klentak will be put in charge of the International Scouting department. That’s pure speculation, but it’s a possibility after Groopman’s departure.
Klentak may not have been able to turn the Phillies around as their GM, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hold any value working as a special assistant in the Brewers front office. There’s a reason he rose to the level of GM in the first place.