In today's Philadelphia Daily News, columnist Bill Conlin explores what may be the real reason Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar abandoned ship this week: The franchise has been skimping recently on bonus money for amateur draft picks, and LaMar could see the handwriting on the wall.
According to Conlin, the Phillies' budget for this year's draft was only $5 million. The Phils were unable to sign late-round picks with college commitments because they were unable to pay over slot.
Conlin points out that LaMar's predecessor in the job, Mike Arbuckle, was green-lighted to give Gavin Floyd, the Phillies' first-round pick in 2001, a bonus of $4.2 million, not much less than his entire budget for this year. LaMar apparently feels the talent being signed and developed by other teams in the division - mainly Washington - will surpass the Phillies more sooner than later.
LaMar was the original general manager of the Tampa Bay franchise. He's also worked for the Braves, Pirates, Reds and, in 2007, the Nationals. He's been around. Whether he sees the immediate future of the Phillies, or simply wants more time to spend with his family (his son recently entered the Naval Academy), only he knows.