Phillies President Says Amaro “Not On The Hot Seat”

THURSDAY: In an appearance on ESPN Radio 97.5 with Mike Missanelli, ESPN’s Jayson Stark said that he’s not so sure there won’t be changes to the Phillies’ front office following the season (via Philly.com’s Peter Mucha). “They are certainly going to make changes in the organization,” Stark said. “There’s a lot of rumors swirling about all sorts of stuff below Ruben.”

Stark also notes that ownership outside of Montgomery may not be as confident in Amaro. Additionally, Stark points to Montgomery’s firing of former GM Ed Wade back in 2005 — a move that was heavily influenced by the public opinion.

WEDNESDAY: While many outside the Phillies organization have been quick to criticize general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., team president David Montgomery is still voicing public support for his GM. Via Todd Zolecki, Erin Bacharach and Greg Johns of MLB.com, Montgomery addressed a large group of fans in a Q&A session on Tuesday and plainly stated, “Ruben is not on the hot seat.”

The Phillies currently sit in last place with a 55-71 record and are on the verge of missing the playoffs for a third straight season. Since winning the NL East and posting a 102-win season in 2011, they’ve been on a sharp decline. Philadelphia finished 81-81 in 2012 (third place), 73-89 in 2013 (fourth place) and are now on pace for a last-place finish and just 70 wins this year.

Philadelphia’s decline, aging roster and thin farm system (at the upper levels) have all fueled criticism for Amaro. Moves such as Ryan Howard‘s extension (five years, $125MM); the re-signing of aging veterans Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz; the free-agent signing of Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year deal with a vesting option; and the decision not to trade veterans in order to start a rebuild have not sat well with many Phillies fans.

The Phillies do appear to have done well in recent drafts — Aaron Nola and J.P. Crawford are both highly regarded prospects — and some recent offseason additions, such as Marlon Byrd and Roberto Hernandez have paid dividends. Of course, while Byrd has been very productive, his contract and limited no-trade clause (along with a reportedly lofty asking price) prevented the Phils from being able to trade him.

That’s nothing new for the Phillies and Amaro, however, as vesting options and partial no-trade clauses have sapped their leverage in trading many players. A glance at their current roster shows that Byrd, Howard, Hamels, Papelbon, A.J. Burnett, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley are all associated with those trading road blocks (be the no-trade protection contractual or via 10-and-5 rights).

As the MLB.com trio points out, this is not the first time that Montgomery has backed Amaro, though it’s certainly his most straightforward defense of his general manager. Montgomery defended his front office to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb in June and to Zolecki back in February as well.


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92 Comments on "Phillies President Says Amaro “Not On The Hot Seat”"


11 months 14 days ago

The narrative is becoming quite clear. The Phillies are going to try and contend next year. They’ll spend more money on bandaids and see similar results. Amaro is like the Pointy Haired Boss from Dilbert.

Cannon Fodder
11 months 14 days ago

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I’d say that Amaro and Co. nailed it.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

Eh, I wouldn’t say that’s really true. My bet is that they’re merely “saying the right things,” and have no intention of renewing his contract after his current one expires (post-2015 season).

11 months 14 days ago

What isn’t really true?

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

The “trying to contend by buying bandaids” bit. I don’t doubt they’ll buy bandaids, but they’ll mostly be for the sake of keeping ticket prices above the average scalper rate for a game that started 30 minutes earlier.

davengmusic
11 months 14 days ago

The Astros did this right after the WS appearance in 05. The team wasn’t actually that good, but the FO thought they were only 1-2 players away from being a dynasty. Next thing you know, Carlos Lee and Drayton McLane are the faces of Astros futility. Houston feels Philly’s pain (and thanks them for their business).

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

To be fair, the Phillies actually were that good. They went to the WS again in ’09, and paced all of baseball in wins in ’10 and ’11. It’s hurting them now, but they responded better than a lot of WS winners have in recent years.

Now’s when they pay the price for that, though.

davengmusic
11 months 14 days ago

I think I was referencing the last few years in Philly, not their prime years. St. Louis seem to recognize when it’s time to turn over the roster effectively by adding young talent with the veterans and signing the right FAs. Philly didn’t do that, and now they’re stuck with under-performing, pricey players. Yes, there’s a ton of factors that weigh into all this, and maybe we’re not even talking about all this if a couple of their stars are still hitting like before their extensions. But this should be on RAJ for not being ahead of the curve.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

Oh, that I’m not arguing (though one could believe that if they still had Pence, an outfield of Pence/Revere/Byrd could actually help this team notably). Just that it’s understandable why they doubled down on the core they had (likely the best in franchise history, and 2nd-best if not) at the expense of prospects.

For the most part, those prospects haven’t panned out, so it’s doubtful standing pat would have helped them either, but there’s no argument that some combination of moves other than what they did would have made them better this year and next – though likely not so much in the ’09-’11 years.

Jaysfan1994
11 months 14 days ago

Well, I guess. The Jays have had a 20+ year swoon after their WS victories.

NotCanon
11 months 13 days ago

Yankees haven’t been back since 2009. Red Sox had a 5-year hiatus. Cardinals had a 4-year absence after ’06. ChiSox still haven’t been back since ’05. Ditto Marlins (although that was a little artificial, thanks to Loria), LAAs and DBacks.

Mike Query
11 months 14 days ago

As a fan of a NL East rival, we thank you.

koufaxblue
11 months 14 days ago

Not a good time rough road ahead.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
11 months 14 days ago

Phillies President Says Amaro “Not On The Hot Seat”
That’s because he is entering A GM Protection Program! =P

Phillies Phans can’t be happy!

Phillyfan425
11 months 14 days ago

Don’t know why anyone finds this surprising. Anyone who follows the Phillies (and doesn’t just want to run around complaining about RAJ) knows that RAJ is doing – and has always done – what the owners want him to do.

11 months 14 days ago

I agree with you and I think the owners know that most of their vets aren’t going anywhere, but there’s got to be a GM who can carry out this plan better than RAJ can.

Phillyfan425
11 months 14 days ago

While I’m sure that there are other candidates who can carry out this plan – I’m not sure the owners want a different plan. A GM can only do so much. If his directive from his bosses is to try to make the team competitive every year – while staying under the luxury tax, and holding on to big names so you still have the “fan draw”, there isn’t much RAJ can do. Especially with how poorly he’s received in the industry – I’d be hard-pressed to believe that he’s ever going to get another GM job once he leaves Philly. And so, from his side, he probably sees it as, hold the title of GM while doing everything my boss tells me, or take a chance, do what I want to do, and be fired and never get another GM job again.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

Either way he’s likely out of a GM seat by 2016, but he’s probably trying to be the good company man so he can get a cushy fall-back job somewhere else in the organization like… Well, most of the previous GMs, players and broadcasters of the team, actually.

tcrash247
tcrash247
11 months 14 days ago

I’m not surprised in the least. This entire organization is a complete mess.

Ron Loreski
11 months 14 days ago

Phillies – Worst run organization in baseball?

Phillyfan425
11 months 14 days ago

Despite all our problems, I’d still have to pick the organization who says “hit the other guys – or you’re out of here.”

rct
11 months 14 days ago

I doubt it. Even from just a personnel standpoint, the Diamondbacks seem worse. If you factor in ownership, the Marlins and Mets have worse owners. The Phillies still spend, still draw crowds, still make money. If they actually sat down this offseason and committed to a full rebuild, they could be a good team again in 2-3 years.

GetToTheChoppa
11 months 14 days ago

Astros, Padres- worst run organization in baseball.

Astros and Luhnow have received their fair share of criticism from how they piggyback pitching in the minors, how they handle cheap contract extensions with guys, etc.

Padres- where to begin (padres fan btw) hiring hoyer, letting him trade Adrian Gonzales for nothing, then running him out of town for Byrnes, then firing Byrnes who was great at making trades that favored the padres. Ian Kennedy, Alex Torres, Carlos Quentin, Seth Smith, etc.

Phillies aren’t the worst run organization. At least they’re committed to contending. Astros padres eh they say they are but they’re 3-4 years away from reaching that promise,

The Padfather
11 months 14 days ago

Only trades Byrnes ever made that favored the Padres was the one for Ross and the one for Hahn. No way Byrnes can say he was responsible for Ross’ resurrection from the dead after the A’s DFA’d him. Ross had a 6+ ERA and was relegated to the pen in Oakland before Black & Balsley turned his career around with the Padres. At the time the Susan Slusser said that Beane had stolen two MLB role players, one of which had a chance to be the starter at short in 2013 and only gave up Ross. Hahn was coming back from TJ surgery and not expected to be this good. Byrnes gave up Boxberger, who is incredible this season 1.80 ERA, 25 hits in 54 ip and 14k/9 and will be the closer next year, and Forsythe who is hitting .247 as a backup infielder – better than any of the Padres backups. Luck, not talent on Byrnes part.

The Padfather
11 months 14 days ago

To get a platoon player in Smith the Padres gave up younger, cheaper Gregerson who is one of the top setup men in baseball.

GetToTheChoppa
11 months 14 days ago

Who’s a free agent after the season, hasn’t signed a contract extension with the A’s, and whos been out pitched by Benoit. Seth Smith has signed a contract extension. The A’s lose Gregerson to free agency or overpay to keep him, doubt they will, via QO the padres clearly win the trade because they’re getting 3 years of Seth Smith for 1 of Gregerson.

The Padfather
11 months 14 days ago

Benoit is getting twice the money and 36 years old and has not “outpitched” Gregerson. He simply plays in a park that is a pitchers idea of heaven. Smith was a FA after this year prior to being extended for more money than the $5.5 to $6 million per season Gregerson is likely to get in free agency. No QO is coming for a setup man. No matter how you slice it, Smith is a platoon outfielder. He wont play against tough lefties because he has proven that he cant hit them. So he plays 3 days out of 4. You cannot honestly say the Padres WON that trade. At best they broke even.

GetToTheChoppa
11 months 14 days ago

You seem to miss the 3 years for 1 of Luke Gregerson. I’ll break it down for you.

Option 1: they kept Gregerson, don’t extend him a QO, don’t sign him to an extension, lose him for nothing.
Option 2: get something for him, get more production than you expected, sign that player to an extension, and watch Gregerson sign elsewhere.

Seems like option 2 makes the most sense. Whatever production the padres get WILL out weigh this 1 year of production the A’s got from Gregerson. Gregerson could go on to be the greatest reliever ever the next 10 years for anyone but the A’s and the padres win the trade because again whatever smith produces for the padres is more than the A’s are getting from Gregerson(which will be nothing).

Also do you look at fangraphs? Cause it shows Benoit has out pitched Gregerson on the road. Gregerson has the better ERA but Benoit has the better avg, Obp, slg. 3 vs. 1 away categories say Benoit has out pitched him.

The Padfather
11 months 14 days ago

The Padres got a much better deal for Gonzalez than they did for LAtos. They got Kelly, who would be in the rotation right now if not for injuries. Fuentes who is knocking on the door. And Rizzo who was traded for Cashner, the Padres ace the past two seasons.

GetToTheChoppa
11 months 14 days ago

Kelly had TJS, Fuentes had shown nothing at the MLB level yet, and Cashner has been injured most the year.

From the Latos trade, Grandal has given them solid power, Alonso is a lost cause, and Boxberger went in the deal for Torres and Hahn. So the Latos deal has yielded Hahn, Torres, Grandal. So no it hasn’t yielded more. So far the only yield is Cashner compared to 3 pieces the Latos trade grabbed the padres.

Chris
11 months 14 days ago

Next to the Rockies, probably.

patburn
11 months 14 days ago

2nd worst. Marlins top the cake there

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

I can name half a dozen that are probably worse right now (Astros, Padres, Mets, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Rockies), but they’re all pretty much in one big, congealed mass at the bottom, so it’s kind of subjective.

Nathan Boley
11 months 14 days ago

Don’t forget the Mariners.

NotCanon
11 months 13 days ago

True.

MB923
11 months 14 days ago

Well a few months ago there was in article in Business Weekly which listed all of sports smartest and worst spenders. Coincidentally the city of Chicago had the best spender (Blackhawks) and worst spender (Cubs)

This is for seasons 2009-2013. Originally they had an article in 2012 too, and for the record, the Phillies were 5th best in MLB in that article. In the 2014 article, the Phillies were then ranked 21st. And it probably will drop once again after this year

Worst spenders (2009-2013) in MLB
1- Cubs
2- Mets
3- White Sox
4- Angels
5- Mariners
6- Twins
7- Yankees
8 – Astros
9 – Red Sox
10- Phillies

If interested, here are the 10 Best spenders in that same span
1- Cardinals
2- Rays
3- Giants
4- Rangers
5- A’s
6- Padres
7- Pirates
8- Marlins
9- DBacks
10 – Tigers

Again, this does not include 2014.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

What was their metric for “worst/best spending?” Was it based on $$$/Win? Championship? RoI via gate revenue and TV $$$?

MB923
11 months 14 days ago

From the article:

Our ranking of all 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB rates teams based on how much they spent in player payroll for every win during the last five seasons. Each team is compared against the average price per win in its league to produce a score we call the efficiency index. The less a team spends compared with its peers, the lower its score. Playoff victories and championships get extra weight. Payroll data come from the best available published sources.*

Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season (e.g., 16.2 wins in baseball); Wild Card wins get half credit.

Championships count for 50 percent of a season (81 wins in baseball).

NotCanon
11 months 12 days ago

Ah, so it’s a pure cost/win (with adjustments for “more important” wins). I can understand the argument there, but it doesn’t factor in the MLB’s efforts to artificially create relative parity (without factoring in expenditures) and the purely financial incentives some teams have (for instance: when the Pirates were sitting on low-salary/low-win teams to absorb as much revenue sharing money as possible).

The Astros have had the #1 pick three seasons running (and could be looking at a third), but don’t get the worst spot on that list because they spend next to nothing. That doesn’t speak to “effective expenditures” as much as it does no baseball team winning or losing much more than 100 games.

Scott Berlin
11 months 14 days ago

That seems kind of flawed, the Tigers spent alot and didn’t get a ring but the Yankees did and are listed as a bad spender?

MB923
11 months 14 days ago

Well the Tigers average payroll from 2009-2013 was “only” $124.9 million.(league average was $94.8 million), compared to the Yankees at $207.5 million.

If the Braves were not postseason choke artists year after year, they’d be much much higher (they are ranked 15th in the list, despite having the best record in the National League and 3rd best record overall in that time span).

Willmac7496
11 months 14 days ago

I’m confident I could do just as good of a job as Amaro. All you have to do is make no moves at the trade deadline. How hard can it be?

Scott Berlin
11 months 14 days ago

First time I felt bad for Phillies fans.

vtadave
11 months 14 days ago

Looks like Ruben saved his job with the Scott Atchison extension.

Ron Loreski
11 months 14 days ago

When did Amaro become the GM of the Indians?

DamonH
11 months 14 days ago

Though that’s not to say he won’t be immediately placed there as soon as the season ends … he’s just not on it right now.

Plus you hear it all the time, “I’m not taking that coaching position”, “we like the team we have”, “we are always evaluating our club”

DamonH
11 months 14 days ago

btw, Phillies
“Since winning the NL East and posting a 102-win season in 2011, they’ve been on a sharp decline”

HA! Not as easy to replicate the number of Braves consecutive division titles as you thought huh????

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

Replicated their number of WS titles during that run, though.

DamonH
11 months 13 days ago

sigh … can’t ever have a discussion without THAT ever being brought up huh. And guess what, the Marlins have won more World Series than anyone without every winning the division. So hey, I guess they’re better than both teams!

NotCanon
11 months 13 days ago

If by “discussion” you meant “taking potshots at fans of another team that had a (relatively) extended run of divisional dominance,” then no, you can’t.

Don’t get me wrong, 14 years winning the division was crazy, and will likely never be replicated… But really, what sort of response did you expect when you threw that line out?

Nathan Justice
11 months 14 days ago

Well Phil’s fans should be thrilled. Every time someone is not on the hot seat…..they’re on the hot seat

DippityDoo
11 months 14 days ago

Thanks for pointing out the positives of the past few drafts. RAJ only gets negative publicity, I always wondered if he was doing something right…

GetToTheChoppa
11 months 14 days ago

Well he did himself no favors reporting those collegiate pitchers for using a consultant.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

That got overblown immensely – as evidenced by the fact that it didn’t come back to bite them in the slightest.

Also, there was no indication it was Amaro who reported them, and the general feeling among Philly fans seems to be that it was either Marti Wolever (scouting director) or one of the scouts that personally worked with Wetzler who lost out on a big bonus when he refused to sign after (presumably) verbally indicating he would.

josebatista89
11 months 14 days ago

I don’t understand how Ruben isn’t on the hot seat.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

He’s got 1.1 years of contract left. He’s not “on the hot seat” in that he’ll be fired, but he’s de facto there, since he’s not getting a contract extension.

Guest
11 months 14 days ago

Well then David Montgomery should be on the hot seat.

suddendepth
11 months 14 days ago

Sadly I believe Monty in this case. Ruben’s contract runs out after next season and as an organization the Phillies have been pretty passive about cutting loose bad contracts and throwing away money. I suspect this will be a straight rollover into a new hire for 2016 barring any major scandals or missteps next season.

The next guy had better have a handle on the statistical side as much as the eyeball tests of the scouts. Ruben is out of his element as a GM in the 21st century. For a 50 year old man he approaches team management like a fossil.

mikecws91
11 months 14 days ago

Ruben Amaro has dug the Phillies into very much the same hole Jim Hendry dug the Cubs into. After their window closed, they were a bad team full of expensive veterans with no-trade clauses. Now they’re left to wait it out before they can even start rebuilding.

Jeff Miller
11 months 14 days ago

Hot seat or not, Ruben is only signed through 2015 and there is no way Montgomery and ownership can justify extending him at this point. But then again, it is the Phillie way to hold onto just about every FO person they can. That’s why they’ve got their 2 previous GM (Gillick and Wade) on staff as advisers in some capacity. So he’ll probably be kept around with some title like “Senior Adviser to President and GM”.

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

I bet the words “Special Assistant” will be on his new office door.

Out of place Met fan
11 months 14 days ago

Well at least the Mets do not have the worst FO in baseball next year

NotCanon
11 months 14 days ago

Jason Bay and Bobby Bonilla don’t question that.

Andrew m
11 months 14 days ago

I am beyond frustrated with the organization at this point. They have given us absolutely nothing, NOTHING to look forward to. They will be the worst team in baseball next year, and they will continue to refuse to make changes.