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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