Tuesday’s MLB: Phillies promote Sam Fuld to general manager

Rob Maaddi
Associated Press

Philadelphia – Sam Fuld went from interviewing to become Boston’s manager to general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Fuld was promoted to GM on Tuesday, filling the role previously held by Matt Klentak. The team also promoted Jorge Velandia to assistant general manager and Terry Ryan to special assistant to the general manager.

Dave Dombrowski, Phillies president of Baseball Operations, oversees the promotion of Sam Fuld to general manager.

Dave Dombrowski was hired to run baseball operations two weeks ago.

Fuld was a finalist for the managerial position with the Red Sox before they hired Alex Cora.

“The interview process with Boston was an enlightening one,” Fuld said. “It (helped) me in appreciating what a manager’s role is, especially a modern manager and putting myself in those shoes and understanding how information can be integrated in an easily digestible way for players.”

The 39-year-old Fuld joined the Phillies in November 2017 as the major league player information coordinator, working closely with the coaching staff to integrate advanced metrics into the team. He also worked as an outfield instructor.

Fuld was the director of integrative baseball performance last season. He oversaw athletic training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition.

Fuld played parts of eight seasons from 2007-2015 with the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins. In 2009, he led National League rookies with a .409 on-base percentage and finished fourth with a .299 batting average.

Velandia played professionally for 18 years from 1992-2009 before transitioning into the Phillies’ front office.

Ryan has spent four years as a special assignment scout for Philadelphia. He previously spent 31 years with the Minnesota Twins in a variety of positions, including 19 seasons as the club’s general manager over two stints.

“The reality, as president of baseball operations, I’ll be the one that would make the decisions when it comes to trades,” Dombrowski said. “I’ll seek the input of everybody else, but ultimately that would be my decision, the final decision, working with everybody. But one thing I do believe in is delegation of responsibilities. People keep you informed on what’s taking place.”

Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Nick Wittgren

Indians, reliever agree to contract

Reliever Nick Wittgren avoided salary arbitration with the Indians by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract.

The right-hander has become a dependable piece in Cleveland’s bullpen for manager Terry Francona.

Wittgren went 2-0 with a 3.42 ERA in 25 games last season. He is 7-1 with a 2.99 ERA in 80 games over two seasons for Cleveland, which acquired him in a trade with Miami in 2019.

The Indians have primarily used Wittgren in a setup role, and that likely will continue despite the club deciding not to re-sign closer Brad Hand. Francona, though, has hinted about using others in save situations and Wittgren could be in that mix.

Wittgren was slated to make $1,125,000 in 2020, but he earned a prorated salary of $416,667 for the pandemic-shortened season.

The Indians have three players still eligible to swap arbitration figures Jan. 15 if no deal is reached: shortstop Francisco Lindor, catcher Austin Hedges and right-hander Phil Maton.

Syndergaard, Mets avoid arbitration

The Mets and Noah Syndergaard agreed to a one-year, $9.7 million for next season, when the injured right-hander hopes to return from Tommy John surgery.

The Mets and Syndergaard avoided arbitration by settling on the same salary Syndergaard was set to make in 2020. He ended up earning $3,592,593 when the season was shortened to 60 games by the coronavirus pandemic.

Syndergaard had reconstructive right elbow surgery in March, shortly after spring training was suspended by Major League Baseball because of the coronavirus. He missed the entire regular season and should be on track to return in the middle of the 2021 season.

Yankees step up

The Yankees are committing $50,000 to businesses located near their stadium in the Bronx that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

With fans banned from Major League Baseball stadiums during the 2020 season, restaurants and merchandise shops around Yankee Stadium told The Associated Press they suffered losses that threatened to shutter their businesses. Some even expressed hope the Yankees would step in to offer direct support.

The Yankees are providing 10 awards worth $5,000 apiece, and the team said Tuesday in a release that because “the greatest immediate need among residents in the nearby community is food, the majority of the commitment will be directed toward local restaurants and food providers.”

Around the horn

The Brewers claimed utilityman Tim Lopes off waivers from the Mariners. Lopes, 26, batted .238 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 46 games for Seattle last season. He posted a .278 on-base percentage and a .364 slugging percentage. Lopes has primarily played left field and right field, but he also has experience at second base and third base.

...The Cubs claimed outfielder Phillip Ervin off waivers from the Mariners.