Phils Start to Make Progress on GM Search

The Phillies went from zero to sixty pretty quickly in their search for a new General Manager. The acceleration coincided with Brian Cashman's decision to remain with the Yankees rather than test the GM free agency waters.

After not being contacted by the Phillies, things moved very quickly for Gerry Hunsicker. The front-runner for the Phillies GM position flew into town for an interview with team president David Montgomery Thursday and left immediately following the meeting.

Back at his home in Houston, Hunsicker termed the meeting "productive".

Astros' president Tal Smith had said prior to Wednesday night's World Series game that the Phillies had not contacted the Astros to get permission to interview Hunsicker. Hunsicker is still technically under contract with the Astros for another couple of weeks. Things obviously moved quickly and Hunsicker was in town less than 24 hours later for his initial meeting with Montgomery.

Earlier in the week, the Phillies interviewed internal candidate Mike Arbuckle. The interview was termed "lengthy and thorough" by Arbuckle. Another internal candidate, Ruben Amaro, Jr. will interview possibly as early as Friday (October 28) for the job. It's not thought that either Arbuckle or Amaro are considered serious candidates to replace Ed Wade as the Phillies GM.

While there are no interviews set, the Phillies are possibly going to contact former Baltimore, Seattle and Toronto GM Pat Gillick and former Indians and Rangers GM John Hart among others.

Clearwater sightings

Gavin Floyd threw at the Phillies complex in Clearwater on Thursday and is scheduled to throw again on Monday. After that, Floyd will leave to pitch in the Puerto Rican league. It's thought that Floyd will make about six starts in Puerto Rico under the watchful eye of Carlos Arroyo, the Phillies Gulf Coast League pitching coach.

Floyd is hoping for a shot at the Phillies' starting rotation next spring.

Cole Hamels is reportedly doing better and not suffering ill effects from the sore back that bothered him late in the season. Hamels will be in camp with the Phillies, but isn't likely to see much action with the big league club and will start the season in the minors, looking to get more innings under his belt.

Free Agent waters

As expected, Billy Wagner didn't waste any time jumping into the free agent pool. The Phillies' closer filed for free agency on the first day that players can file. One of Wagner's concerns is who will be the General Manager of the Phillies and how much he'll have in what could be a revamped bullpen.

Utility players Michael Tucker and Ramon Martinez also filed for free agency yesterday. Kenny Lofton, Todd Pratt and Ugueth Urbina are the other Phillies' players eligible for free agency.

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