Mar 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of Philadelphia Phillies hats laying in the dugout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies laid off 80 employees on Wednesday, reducing their front-office workforce by 20 percent, reports Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Inquirer. A number of MLB teams have diminished their staffs since the pandemic prompted revenue losses all across the sporting landscape, but the Phillies brought their own particular panache to the unfortunate business of layoffs. Hayes reports that employees were alerted of the latest cuts by email the day before Thanksgiving.

The 80 positions that were eliminated came via buyouts and layoffs on both the business and baseball side of the front office, notes Gary Miles, also of the Philadelphia Inquirer. This is just the latest in a number of cost-cutting efforts made by the Phillies to counterbalance the losses of the past year. A letter in June gave employees some idea of the scope of revenue depletion with which the organization was wrestling, and a round of salary reductions affected employees making more than $90K. Middleton himself forewent his salary, but none of it was enough to stave off the eventual slimming of personnel files.

Managing partner John Middleton hasn’t always put forth the best optics since taking over the Phillies in 2016, and this latest bit of personnel management certainly falls into that camp. Even if these layoffs were delayed by some time, and even if most of them were buyouts, the timing of the notice certainly paints a grim picture.

Meanwhile, the Phillies continue to search for a new GM to lead their now-depleted baseball operations team. Word is they’ve tabled the search for a president of baseball ops, but they continue to seek a new GM. On the one hand, the tepid free-agent market and a presumably long winter provide opportunity for the Phillies to exert some patience in their search for a new top decision-maker. On the other hand, the Atlanta Braves — their division rival and incumbent team-to-beat in the NL East — are setting the pace early by adding two viable arms to their already-strong rotation.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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