MacPhail leaving organization

A source confirmed tonight that Andy MacPhail no longer will serve as president of baseball operations and is leaving the organization

This isn't a resignation or a firing, despite the wording in some national reports. MacPhail's contract ends on Oct. 31.

MacPhail flew to Florida earlier this week to attend to a family matter. He couldn't be reached tonight for comment.

Family obligations are a primary reason why MacPhail won't return, according to a source.

It was known for much of the summer that MacPhail and the Orioles would part ways, but the delay in an announcement led to speculation that he might be reconsidering. MacPhail could have stayed in his current role if he wanted, but he's decided to leave.

Manager Buck Showalter isn't a candidate to move up to the front office at this time.

MacPhail was hired on June 20, 2007 and given more freedom to operate than previous executives in the warehouse. The Orioles went 267-380 in his four full seasons at the helm. They just completed their 14th consecutive losing season, a string that the next guy in charge will try to snip.

On the plus side, MacPhail carried an impressive average when it came to orchestrating trades. More hits than misses. But he wasn't as prosperous in free agency, and his philosophy of "letting the market play out" further agitated his critics.

I understood the approach in some instances, especially when the talent pool was shallow and players needed to lower their demands, and found it puzzling in others.

You can expect a more aggressive approach from whomever is calling the shots this winter, for better or worse

Improving the farm system was a top priority when MacPhail arrived. It's in better shape, but it's not giving Showalter many options at the top two levels when injuries or poor performance dictate a change.

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