Amaro Discusses Phillies’ Trade Possibilities

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. talked to reporters today about his areas of focus as the trade deadline approaches, and's Todd Zolecki has a transcript of the conversation. Here are a few highlights:

  • The Phillies are being "pro-active" on the trade market, talking to a handful of teams about possible deals.
  • Amaro implies that he's exploring acquiring an infielder, but cautions that the Phillies "may have a totally different need come July 31 than adding a piece in the infield."
  • If they could only make one move, the team would prefer to add a pitcher as opposed to an infielder, since Placido Polanco and Chase Utley will be back eventually.
  • The Phils would consider trading not just prospects, but players from their major league roster.
  • The club has the flexibility to add to its payroll.

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17 Comments on "Amaro Discusses Phillies’ Trade Possibilities"

5 years 1 month ago

*Now* the club has flexibility to add payroll? But the 6 million to keep Cliff Lee wasn’t possible in February?

5 years 1 month ago

According to Amaro, Jr., Lee wasn’t traded because of payroll issues. His reasoning was that after depleting the farm system to get Lee and then doing it again to get Halladay, he wanted to re-stock the farm system as to not leave the cupboard bare.

Which was, of course, a horrible reason.

Phillies’ fans should WISH that money had been the reason, because voluntarily forfeiting what would have been the best 1-2 punch in the NL to re-stock their farm system with 3 prospects who all have major question marks surrounding them (and none of whom are a lock to even make it to the major leagues) has to go down as one of the worst roster decisions in recent years.

5 years 1 month ago

In recent years? How about of all-time?

Keeping Lee could have been the lock they needed to reign over the NL for at the least a couple more years.

5 years 1 month ago

I actually completely agree, but was trying to avoid hyperbole. I actually think that giving up a chance to be great this season in order to be good for the next 5 is not just a horrible decision but really just a soft one. And that’s even if they had landed good prospects that would eventually help. The fact that they got an inconsistent pitcher who can’t repeat his delivery, an OF whose numbers were inflated by playing in an extreme hitters park, and Juan Ramirez who may, at best, end up being an arm in the bullpen just makes things worse.

5 years 1 month ago

Yeah, I could’ve accepted this trade as making sense if they got sure-thing prospects back, but they got question marks.

Hell, they could’ve traded Lee to the twins and got a catcher for the future, guaranteed, plus more, and this would be acceptable.

5 years 1 month ago

Greg – how do you like this deal. Red Sox send 3 high end prospects to the Mariners. Mariners send Cliff Lee to the Phillies. Phillies send Jayson Werth to the Red Sox?

5 years 1 month ago

Sounds like a great deal. Haha. The only problem the Phillies would have is that they now have a lineup that is considerably left handed. (With Domonic Brown presumingly replacing Jayson Werth in right field.) Not sure if it would be worth it (no pun intended) for the Red Sox though. The prospects that it would take them to essentially acquire Lee would probably be a lot, compared to acquiring Werth alone from the Phillies, without the M’s help. Of course, a deal couldn’t get done that way.

5 years 1 month ago

Ibanez to Seatle for Figgins BROWN CALLED UP


Phils get Figgins, cash and or player from seatle. Seatle gets Ibanez. DOMINIC bROWN WILL BE CALLED UP

5 years 1 month ago

I wish Jays had gotten Brown instead of Drabek. :(

5 years 1 month ago

drabek just had a no hitter. what are you complaining about? sorry it was not a perfect game.

5 years 1 month ago

Brown was never on the table according to every report out there. So no wishing for something that wasn’t ever possible. Obviously the Phils knew what they had in Brown.

5 years 1 month ago

in other words this is ruben saying “sorry about dealing Lee i didnt think we would need him this bad”

5 years 1 month ago

I don’t know how dumb you have to be to mess a team up this bad..I have quite a few complaints about how horrible a number of the moves the Phillies have made in the past year have been.First, you trade most of your top prospects for Cliff Lee last year…and then turn around and trade him and give up more to get Roy Halliday…. This makes little sense and I’ve been telling many of my friends here in Philadelphia it wasn’t a good move from the day the deal was done. Both pitchers are very very good, but why would you ever make this trade? Essentially you’ve unloaded what 3-5 of your top prospects and major league ace for another ace that could at the very most win you only a couple more games than the guy you traded away.. The move was not worth what the Phils gave up even if it is Roy Halliday.Second, the reason that Amaro used to justify all these moves had to do with the fear that they wouldn’t be able to resign Cliff Lee… (Bull Sh..). The Phillies would have had another year to work out an extension..and tell me who wouldn’t want to resign with a team that took them to a world it money that the Phillies wouldn’t cough up for one of the best pitchers they’ve had in the past 20+ years?…If money is the reason, I have some serious issues with that excuse based on the money they threw at Joe Blanton and the guy I’m going to make my final point on.Finally, if the budget is so tight, why the h3ll do you give Ryan Howard that $125 million dollar contract. This move just doomed any chance of the Phillies keeping the nucleus of their team intact for the next 2-5 years…with that money you could easily have paid Lee, went out and pick up another Ace, extended Werth’s contract, and possibly locked up a couple other players for a couple more years…and sorry but, I’d use Howard in a trade (provided he doesn’t have a no trade clause)for mlb ready players..your return would be huge…Look, the guy may have slimmed down a bit but big guys like that will eventually decline..don’t expect the big fella to be belting anywhere near 50 HR’s at the end of this contract…on top of that, there will be a number of big name power hitting 1st basemen available in the off season.Well, these are just my 3 cents you can agree or disagree, but I don;t think we’d be seeing Uncle Charlie crying on comcast tonight if the front office would make some intelligent moves…and by the way..up yours Charlie..Joey Votto deserves the nod over Ryan Howard for the All Star game…You manage to win that game for home field advantage in the should know how important that is you just lost in it last season…..your choice was clearly to keep the big baby from crying along with you tonight.

5 years 1 month ago

if you get rid of ryan howard, who do you have playing first base, some one you get back in a trade? and you have to make sure you are getting back the same numbers that you are trading away because ryan howard’s numbers just don’t grow on tree’s you know?

most of the prospects the phils have traded away are not doing so hot. you just can’t keep on waiting for prospects to develop. most of the time they don’t. i applaud RAJ for making the Halliday trade. i just didn’t understand why they didnt just hang on to Cliff Lee, non tender Joe Blanton and then wait to replenish the farm system with this year 1st year player draft.

5 years 1 month ago

Totally agree with David S on his comments. The fact that we have halladay and not lee is because Halladay was willing to come to philly and sign for less for a multi year contract. Lee wants CC money and he will get it. Philly doesnt have Yankee money and honestly i dont see anyone paying his salary but the yankees. if we were in first place and winning tons of games and didnt have this hitting slump i dont think ANYONE in philly would be questioning RAJ or the moves. so give it up already. lets all move on. We have Doc and who knows, maybe we get Haren. according to the rumors.

5 years 1 month ago

As I said, you are free to your opinion and to disagree. What I was basically getting at in my previous post was that Lee and Halliday are both great pitchers…it made little sense to give up basically your farm system or atleast your valuable prospects for at most a couple more wins on the season if Halliday performs better than Lee. I agree with the hang onto Lee and use those prospects this year idea to add another big arm. You would have the rights to Lee through this season..and you’d have to be kidding me if you thought he wouldn’t resign with a lineup like the Phil’s to give him run support. The major problem I have with the whole situation is the weak excuse that RAJ would not be able to resign the guy..he barely tried…This guy had it in his mind that Halliday was what he was going to get regardless of what it cost and didn’t think twice about shipping the guy that for the most part carried the team to the series.I also agree that Blanton should have been non-tendered and that move was a waste…My biggest beef was the carrying on about not having the money and not spending any time trying to work out a deal with Lee, and saying it just isn’t there, but turning around and dumping $125m to Howard (his contract doesn’t expire until after next why do this now?)…the move eventually will choke off any chance of retaining the strong nucleus of the team in the future. My guess is that after this season most of the following players will be gone (if none of these guys are traded) Werth, Moyer, Chad Durbin, Jose Contraras, Greg Dobbs, Kyle Kendrick, Ben Fransisco, J.A. Happ, Valdez, Ransom, Figuerroa, and Bastardo. That would leave the team with an even more shallow bench than it has now and a depleted bullpen/rotation. Rollins and Romero have club options for next season, but after the 2011 & even more so after the 2012 season, this team will likely be a shell of itself…as sad as it sounds, be prepared to watch the Phillies decline over the next 3 seasons…Just watch as Howard’s numbers will decline as he goes though his contract through the 2016 (and possibly 2017, but I doubt it) seasons and ask yourself when it’s happening if it was worth sacrificing a couple more WS runs for 1 player..I say no.Oh and what I was saying about trading Howard, the potential to improve your team dramatically for a number or years would present itself.. you may not get back a 50 plus HR hitter..but you could probably get back atleast 2 young studs already in the majors and/or potentially some better pitching. Not sure exactly who plays 1st if that happened..but you obviously would not trade him if you were in contention…only if you were basically out of the playoff that point it wouldn’t matter…and you could use that $ you didn’t resign the guy with to go out and replace him this upcoming offseason…There are plenty of great 1st basemen that will be available after this season…but by signing this contract, there is no way you could move the guy..unless when he declines, you eat part of or all of his contract.I compare this move to the Cardinal’s signing of Matt Holliday…they have a great lineup but there is no way they can sustain all the stars on their team for more than a couple of years…I believe they know that they need to win now before they lose all their players to free agency and were gambling with that move. Let’s just hope that I’m not right.

5 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t believe it either if I hadn’t read it in a million places, simply because it doesn’t make sense. Here’s a link to the article at the time that announces both deals the Phillies made that day:

The main quote:

“Amaro said he didn’t keep Lee, who has one year and $9 million remaining on his contract, for two reasons. He felt Lee wanted to test the free-agent market next winter and couldn’t afford to keep him and lose him for nothing. And he needed prospects to replenish the ones lost in both the Lee-from-Cleveland trade and the Halladay deal.”

You can read it in context…it’s about half-way down the page, just to the left of a box with Buster Olney in it.