NL East Notes: Dombrowski, Phillies, Duquette, Diaz, Mets, Ibanez

Dave Dombrowski’s contract as the Phillies’ president of baseball operations runs through the 2024 season, and it contains a special clause that would allow him to leave if offered a job with an expansion team in Nashville.  However, in the wake of the Phils’ run to the NL pennant, there is obvious interest in keeping him in Philadelphia for many years to come, and an extension looks to be in the works.  “There’s not a chance that we’ll let him get away,” managing partner John Middleton told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Before Dombrowski finally agreed to speak with the Phillies in the 2020-21 offseason, Nightengale reports that the team had narrowed it search for a new front office boss down to Twins GM Thad Levine and former Orioles/Red Sox GM Dan Duquette.  Levine was known to be a top candidate at the time of the search, but Duquette wasn’t previously known to be on the Phillies’ radar at all.  Since parting ways with the Orioles after the 2018 season, Duquette was linked to the Pirates’ GM search before Pittsburgh hired Ben Cherington.

More from around the NL East…

  • Edwin Diaz is one of several prominent Mets players slated for free agency, but the Mets “believe they have the best chance to keep” Diaz of anyone in that top-tier group, The New York Post’s Jon Heyman writes.  Re-signing Diaz might well cost the Mets the largest contract ever given to a relief pitcher, but Diaz’s case for such a deal is pretty sound, considering his excellent performance.  Since an increasing number of teams are reluctant to pay top dollar for relievers, this could give the Mets something of an advantage in keeping the All-Star in the fold.
  • Also from Heyman, he reports that Raul Ibanez spoke with the Marlins about their managerial vacancy, though Ibanez took himself out of the hunt “due to family considerations.”  Ibanez has spent the last two seasons working with MLB as a senior VP of on-field operations, and previously worked as a special assistant in the Dodgers organization after retiring from his playing career.  Though he doesn’t have any managing or coaching experience, the widely-respected Ibanez has surfaced as a managerial candidate in the past, though he has consistently declined interviews.  Talking with the Marlins perhaps represents some softening on Ibanez’s stance, though since he lives in Miami, it is possible he saw this specific job as a unique opportunity.  The Marlins announced Skip Schumaker as their new skipper on Tuesday.

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