Amaro On Pitching, Papelbon, Howard, Thome

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke to FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi about his team's offseason moves, and what he still might have in store before Opening Day…

  • Amaro would like to add a left-handed reliever or rotation depth, provided either could be had at a reasonable price.  The club would also like to add a bench option who can provide some added speed.
  • The team is happy with its four-year, $50MM deal with Jonathan Papelbon, even after ex-closer Ryan Madson signed a one-year, $8.5MM deal with the Reds that looks like a major bargain.  “That’s the beauty and difficulty of free agency,” Amaro said. “We knew there were other teams who were going to be very competitive in the market for closers. Once we got to an AAV (average annual value) of $12.5 million with Papelbon, we felt that was a reasonable deal for us to make….Markets can be fluid and difficult to gauge. I’m happy with the player we have.”
  • Ryan Howard was recently cleared to resume weight-bearing and strength-building exercises but Amaro says the club is being "very cautious" with their star first baseman.  Howard ruptured his left Achilles tendon while making the last out of the NLDS and his DL stint will last into next season.  Amaro says it would be "great" if Howard could return to the Phillies by May.
  • Amaro is satisfied with his club's internal first base options, including Jim Thome, who Amaro says could play first up to four or five times per month.  “Our medical people are surprised at the shape he’s in,” Amaro said. “They think he might be better now than he was when we first signed him in 2002.”  Thome has been a full-time DH and pinch-hitter for the last four seasons.

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9 Comments on "Amaro On Pitching, Papelbon, Howard, Thome"

3 years 7 months ago

Sign Lidge. They have Bastardo, Savery, and Willis as the lefties.

3 years 7 months ago

Would love to have Brad Lidge back. Love the idea of Lidge/Bastardo/Papelbon at the back end of games for the right price.

3 years 7 months ago

I gotta think a deal with the Rockies hasn’t gotten done because Lidge is hoping the Phillies jump in there and offer him a guaranteed contract, keeping in mind he’s from Colorado.  I wouldn’t mind having him around $1.25m plus incentives.

3 years 7 months ago

i want someone more reliable than lidge and his assortment of slopballs at this point in his career.  ask our starting rotation if they want lidge in the mix for the 8th….

3 years 7 months ago

His “slop balls” include one of the best sliders in the game that allowed him collect a 10.7 k/9 and a 1.40 ERA.

He’s probably not going to post an ERA that low next year but he’s great insurance for DeFratus and Aumont if one of them can’t seize the job.

EDIT: His stats over the last two years:

2.49 ERA
1.31 WHIP
10.4 k/9
5.1 BB/9
0.7 HR/9
6.6 H/9

3 years 7 months ago

For starters, a $12.5 AAV for a relief pitcher is absurd.  But to rationalize this as a fair deal by strictly looking at AAV, and ignoring the extra three years of the deal is downright incompetent. This was probably the most ridiculous signing of the offseason.

3 years 7 months ago

Amaro only knows how to bid against himself. May not be the best way to get it done but he gets the guy(s) he wants. I’d say most contracts he gives are higher in totals but not to the point that it’s too substantial and I do use the word ‘too’ very cautiously.

3 years 7 months ago

If Howard is in better shape now than he was 10 years ago when he played first base everyday, how come he is only capable of playing first base once a week now. I’m guessing Amaro said Thome can play 4 or 5 times a week rather than month?

3 years 7 months ago

Spoken like a typical Yankee fan.