Phils farm director Jordan to part ways with team

September 4th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- There is a significant shakeup in the Phillies' front office.

Phillies player development director Joe Jordan, who helped engineer the farm system's transformation from one of the worst in baseball to one of the best, will not return next season, the team announced Tuesday. Sources said that Jordan had become frustrated in his role following the December 2017 promotion of Bryan Minniti to assistant general manager of player development, amateur and international scouting -- so frustrated, in fact, that Jordan offered his resignation before finding a job elsewhere.

It could be the first change of many to the player development staff.

"I recently had a conversation with Joe, during which he informed me that he plans to pursue other opportunities this fall," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said in a statement. "He was extremely professional and appreciative for the opportunity that the Phillies have given him for the past seven years.

"I have known Joe since 2008 when we first began working together in Baltimore. In that time, I have known him to be a hard worker, loyal colleague and good friend. I am grateful for his contributions to the Phillies during his tenure, and I am confident that he will continue to do great things in the baseball industry in his next endeavor."

Jordan joined the Phillies in October 2011, replacing former farm director Chuck LaMar. He initially served under former general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and former assistant general manager Benny Looper, who provided Jordan almost complete autonomy in the operation of the player development department. Klentak and Minniti sought a more collaborative process, while Jordan thought the increased oversight hindered his ability to make even the day-to-day decisions that he had made in the past.

One source said Jordan thought the goals of the department had changed over the past few years.

Jordan could not be reached for comment, but in a conversation with NBC Sports Philadelphia he thanked Amaro, Looper, team chairman David Montgomery, former GM Pat Gillick and former managers Dallas Green and Charlie Manuel. He said he enjoyed reconnecting with current team president Andy MacPhail, who worked with him in Baltimore.

"Those guys helped shape me," Jordan said.

Jordan added: "I had the greatest job, but last week I walked into Matt's office and told him I didn't think I was the guy to take this thing forward."

Minniti joined the Phillies in November 2016 as special assistant to Klentak, who promoted him to assistant GM in September 2017. Minniti is part of Klentak's close inner circle, which includes assistant GM Ned Rice.

Klentak, Rice, Minniti and Jordan had been the only four members of last fall's managerial search, which led them to Gabe Kapler. At the time, Jordan's inclusion in the interview process had been a bit of a surprise, although he had familiarity with the two internal candidates for the job: Dusty Wathan and Jorge Velandia.

Kapler previously served as the Dodgers' farm director. He said he would be happy to offer his opinions about the job, if asked. He almost certainly will be.

Asked what qualities make a good farm director, Kapler said, "I think being a very good listener is very important. In my experience you are not making decisions on behalf of the organization unilaterally. That's not the job of a farm director, in my opinion. The job of a farm director is to be a very good listener. You have expertise all around you. Above you in the front office, on the field side with your field coordinator, your pitching coordinator and your hitting coordinator. And listening and helping to guide them in the right direction are the qualities that I think would be admirable in a farm director."

Said Klentak: "We will begin the process of identifying the next leader of our player development department in the near future. In the meantime, we are very confident in the abilities of Steve Noworyta, Dana Parks, Bryan Minniti and others to guide us through this transition period."