Phillies sign manager Rob Thomson to 1-year extension after 2 straight trips to NLCS

FILE - Philadelphia Phillies Manager Rob Thomson walks to the mound during the fourth inning of Game 1 of a baseball NL Division Series against Atlanta Braves, Oct. 7, 2023, in Atlanta. The Phillies announced Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, that they have extended Thomson's contract through the 2025 season after he led the team to two straight trips to the NL Championship Series. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Call him Philly Rob. Call him Topper.

Whatever the nickname, the Philadelphia Phillies can call Rob Thomson their manager for at least two more seasons.

The Phillies signed Thomson to a one-year contract extension through the 2025 season after he led the team to two straight trips to the NL Championship Series.

He worked most of 2022 as an interim manager. Now, Thomson won’t have to enter 2024 as a lame-duck one.

“It’s good to know that you’ve got that extra year,” Thomson said Monday at baseball’s winter meetings, “but if I didn’t get it, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me.”

The 60-year-old Thomson has a 155-118 record since the veteran bench coach replaced Joe Girardi as Phillies manager on June 3, 2022. Thomson led the Phillies to the 2022 World Series, where they lost in six games to the Houston Astros. The Phillies returned to the NLCS this season but blew series leads of 2-0 and 3-2 with Games 6 and 7 at home against Arizona.

Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos went 5 for 53 (.094) with 11 walks, 22 strikeouts and two RBIs in Philadelphia’s four NLCS losses. Against six Arizona pitchers in Game 7, the four went 1 for 15 with five strikeouts and no RBIs.

Thomson led the Phillies to a 90-72 record in 2023 and their first 90-win season since 2011. This past October he became only the third manager in MLB history to win 18 of his first 25 postseason games, joining Hall of Famers Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel.

Thomson has been with the club since the 2018 season when he was first hired as bench coach under former manager Gabe Kapler.

Thomson had said he planned to retire after the 2022 season until he was promoted to the manager’s job. Thomson said after this season he had no plans to quit and intended to manage as long as the Phillies wanted him.

“One reason I was thinking about retirement was that it was just getting stale for me,” Thomson said. “But ever since I’ve stepped into this role, there’s no staleness — at all. There’s a new problem every day, new things to do every day. I’m upbeat, and I’m just happy. I don’t think there’s any question about my love for this team, this group of people, players and coaches, this organization, the city, I love it all. So this was a no-brainer for me.”

With Harper now a full-time first baseman, and Schwarber and Turner among the sluggers returning, the Phillies seem primed to contend for the World Series. The Phillies had 10-1 odds Monday to win the 2024 World Series, per FanDuel SportsBook.

The Phillies signed ace Aaron Nola to a $172 million, seven-year deal last month.

Phillies President Dave Dombrowski said the Phillies knew they wanted to sign Thomson and just needed to take care of other pressing details — like signing Nola — before approaching Thomson with an extension.

“I’m waiting to win a World Series, then I’m going to approach him,” Thomson said, laughing.

“You know what? I can’t wait,” Dombrowski said.

The Phillies last won the World Series in 2008.

Thomson spent 28 years as a member of the New York Yankees organization (1990-2017), including 10 seasons on the major league coaching staff as bench coach (2008, 2015-17) and third base coach (2009-14).

The Phillies also hired Dustin Lind and Rafael Peña as assistant hitting coaches.


AP freelancer Terry McCormick in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this story.


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