The Phillies have a new general manager. It was announced on Tuesday by President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski that Sam Fuld was promoted to the position. Fuld will replace interim GM Ned Rice who was in the position after Matt Klentak’s removal. 

Background

Fuld played in the Major Leagues from 2007 to 2015 for five teams, most recently of the Oakland Athletics. He was known as a good defensive outfielder who slashed .227/.307/.325 with 12 home runs and 67 stolen bases. Fuld was given nicknames such as “Superman” or “The Legendary Sam Fuld” after a diving catch of his went viral.

The 39-year-old Fuld joined the Philies organization the day after he retired in 2015 at the age of 35. Fuld was named major league player information coordinator under then-manager Gabe Kapler. His task was to help relay and integrate information from the team’s analytics department to the players, coaches, and front office. 

Fuld’s name has come up in multiple managerial searches in recent years. He recently interviewed with the Red Sox for their managerial opening this past fall. Fuld was considered a finalist but ultimately lost out to the returning Alex Cora. His ability to combine recent playing experience with analytical expertise has made him an attractive candidate for openings around baseball. 

Analysis

This will obviously be Fuld’s first time as a general manager. The Phillies surely liked him for the same reasons other teams eyed him for in the past, plus his familiarity with the Phillies organization is an added bonus. However, it’s to be determined exactly how much power Fuld will have under new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. 

Fuld will most likely be the one making day-to-day calls and decisions while Dombrowski sets the overall vision and direction. The two working together is an interesting dynamic, with Dombrowski being a more old-school executive and Fuld being a recent player who has analytics experience. 

The situation is similar in some ways to the Philadelphia 76ers and their new front office structure. Elton Brand is a recent former player with only a year of GM experience under his belt. Brand reports to new president Daryl Morey who brings 13 years of experience and success. Morey is much more of an analytically driven executive than Dombrowski, but the situation is similar. Fuld will essentially learn under and work with Dombrowski much like Brand does under Morey.