Thomson's contract as Phils manager extended through '25

December 5th, 2023

NASHVILLE -- Dave Dombrowski joked that he knew Rob Thomson would be a good manager when he won his first eight games on the job in 2022.

“We’re never going to lose a game with him,” Dombrowski said. “This is fantastic.”

A few months later, Thomson helped the Phillies make the postseason for the first time since 2011, then the World Series for the first time since 2009. This past season, he helped them make the NLCS for a second consecutive year. So on Monday, the team announced it had signed Thomson to a contract extension that runs through 2025. His contract had been set to expire after next season.

“He didn’t ask me,” Dombrowski said at the Winter Meetings. “I approached him.” 

Thomson had spent most of his professional baseball career working on one-year contracts, so he said being a lame-duck manager next year would not have necessarily bothered him or changed his approach to the job. But it sure is better this way. 

“I'm just happy,” Thomson said. “I don't think there's any question about my love for this team, this group of people, players, coaches, trainers, R&D. This group of people, the organization, the city, I love it all. So this was a no brainer for me.”  

“Well deserved,” Dombrowski said. “That’s why we did it.” 

From the moment the Phillies replaced Charlie Manuel with Ryne Sandberg in 2013, the Phillies had four managers across 10 seasons before Thomson replaced Joe Girardi in June 2022 (Sandberg to Pete Mackanin to Gabe Kapler to Girardi). The Phillies have had a slew of pitching coaches, hitting coaches, general managers, assistant general managers, amateur scouting directors and player development directors in that time.

The Phillies have finally steadied the churn over the past few years.

“I have always felt that the best organizations in baseball also have continuity,” Dombrowski said. “You don’t want continuity if it’s not working, but assuming that it's working … you identify individuals that are talented and you work together. You grow as you work together. We all can get better. And we try to get better all the time.

“When you make major adjustments consistently, you're starting from scratch. And then you're getting back on the same page. And you're trying to put that [back] together. People talk about the Dodgers, right? Well, they've been together for a long time. We’ve talked about the Braves. They've been together. They talk about the Yankees. They’ve been together a long time. Tampa Bay has been together a long time. I think that's really important. For example, in Detroit, we were together a long time and we would continue to make small adjustments.”

Thomson has enjoyed plenty of success on the job. He has experienced failure, too. He said he is still analyzing everything that went wrong in the NLCS against Arizona. There are things he would do differently, although he declined to offer specifics.

“Different things enter my mind and I think through it,” Thomson said. “I go back and watch it.”

But the Phillies believe Thomson will make the necessary adjustments. They believe he is the man to lead them to a World Series title.

“I’m waiting to win a World Series and then I’m going to approach [Dombrowski],” Thomson joked about his next contract.

“And you know what?” Dombrowski said, smiling. “I can’t wait.”