After reading the coverage at Inquirer.com and the Athletic last night I have to say I'm pretty pessimistic.
I mean, open mind, and things can only get better in some ways, but it feels like the Phillies have gone back to being the Phillies, not that they ever truly stopped: hiring from the Old Boy's Network, having that same classic reactionary approach you often get with managers (hiring someone who is as far away from the last guy as possible), and just not really being in a comparable position as a franchise to where past examples in Dombrowski's career (or the example of Gillick coming here) apply. I also think, that, as with the manager and firing Klentak, they caved to bad PR. Not that those were the wrong moves, or that their apparent plan to leave MacPhail and Rice in place was good, but they obviously changed their mind and rushed their timeline after seeing how that plan played in the media.
Also, while I know he always was a candidate, just not available, it also feels like he really only got the job because the first two choices (among many others) didn't want it (and Michael Hill wasnt part of the Old Boy's Network, gee, I wonder why).
From an organizational standpoint it will be interesting to see if Dombrowkski can actually work with what is already in place (i.e. Bonifay and the Driveline guys), not that we're sure those guys have it figured out.
On the bright side, from a fan's standpoint, and given what is on the roster, if he does short-term success followed by a crash, well, that's still better than what we already had going, mediocrity followed by a crash.
I do not think this hire has increased the budget. Maybe he can change Middleton''s mind, but the numbers are the numbers. They have $141 committed now and I doubt they'll top $180, and even that might be high.They either hope to get JT for less and get some bargains, or it's no JT and 3-4 $8-12 million pieces.
They blew a lot of smoke yesterday, on the one hand saying they want him back and it's a "retool not a rebuild," but on the other all but saying the goal is not to win anything of note this year. At best you can interpret Dombrowski saying the Phillies are not one piece away as hoping he finds a way to get, or change up five or six pieces. But some of our most tradeable players are still simultaneously guys you don't want to give up on and guys with currently depressed value (Kingery, Haseley, even Rhys given his injury).