The Phillies on Wednesday announced the hiring of longtime baseball executive Terry Ryan as a special assignment scout.
Ryan, 63, joins the Phillies after 31 years with the Minnesota Twins. He had two stints totaling 19 years as that club’s general manager until being fired from the position in July.
Ryan became the Twins' GM in 1994, succeeding Andy MacPhail, who is now the Phillies’ club president. During Ryan’s time as GM, the Twins won four American League Central titles. He was twice named Executive of the Year by the Sporting News.
“While we have made significant investments in our analytical endeavors over the past year, it is important to remember that quality talent evaluation is essential to making quality baseball decisions,” general manager Matt Klentak said in announcing Ryan’s hiring.
As Twins scouting director from 1986 to 1991, Ryan oversaw drafts that produced Chuck Knoblauch, Brad Radke and Scott Erickson. As Twins GM, he made the regrettable call to release David Ortiz before the 2003 season. Ortiz, who had battled injury and inconsistency as a young player with the Twins, went on to become one of the game's biggest stars, belting 483 homers, making 10 American League All-Star teams and winning three World Series in 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
"There's no hiding that one," Ryan told MLB.com earlier this year. "You can put that one in there and lock it down. I'm not running from it. I'm proud of what he's done. Obviously, it was a mistake. The guy has been a great representation of the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball for a long time. And it's Boston's gain and Minnesota's loss. And I take full responsibility."
Ortiz had initially been property of the Seattle Mariners. Ryan acquired him in a September 1996 trade that sent Dave Hollins to the Mariners. Coincidentally, Hollins is now a member of the Phillies’ professional scouting staff, as is Ryan.