But they did add relievers, they just didn't add guys who helped -- that's on the baseball side management: the GM and his advisors, the professional scouting, the analytics crew. That's the old Ed Wade deadline trade problem and it's not an excuse for the organization; it's an indictment.
I see zero evidence that the analytics staff has helped the Phillies. Our draft and international signings seem subpar, on the whole (I do like Bohm). Their assistance in player positioning on the field two years ago hurt the team. If they were beyond last season's super emphasis on throwing high FBs, that also seemed to do more harm than good. If they drove our in-game decisions for managing the pitching staff, especially use of the pen and when to pull starters -- I don't see an advantage here either. Very early to judge how the switch to Driveline for instruction will pan out., but prior to that switch, I don't see a good development program, so the analytics guys didn't help us there either. So, I think a major improvement in that area is warranted.
For me, it all starts with ditching MacPhail. He was an awful hire and a lot of the problems lie with him. The organization needs stability and we need to get on the right track as an organization ASAP, so Klentak has to go and the new President brings his own GM or we get a GM who effectively is President. The decision on the analytics staff, the scouting and development staff, especially the international scouts and Sal should be made quickly. The drip, drip, drip rate of change under MacPhail was a big source of our problems. It stalled change, perhaps thereby driving great impatience for fans, media, and Middleton about the snails pace at which we were moving to surpass a .500 record and build a superior farm. Impatience probably did drive some unwise signings of comped FAs as AF claims.
Patience is gone. If it's likely that MacPhail/Klentak will be gone after 2021, then they need to be gone promptly at the end of this season. The new leadership needs to access and make changes to the baseball side rapidly -- preferably before the start of the 2021 season, certainly before the 2021 draft and international signing period. I think we should stay with Driveline, but everything else is fair game for change. I think fast staff changes are entirely feasible if the new guy is experienced (as Klentak was not) he already knows a fair amount about Phillies organization,, already has a list of baseball -side management he admires and wants in his organization, and he will be able to interview all of our baseball-side staff as part of a quick organizational evaluation. There is no need to watch the baseball management work for a year to evaluate them. If the new guy needs that, then he is the wrong guy; if Middleton demands that, he won't get a top quality baseball leader.
Middleton says he is willing to spend. Well, baseball-side professional staff is about the only place he's still allowed to outspend the competition. Klentak seems a bright guy, like Francona he will eventually find success, but the Phillies weren't then and even less so today aren't in a position where a bright, young, inexperienced guy can learn on the job and succeed.