Amaro Says Phillies Have Room to Maneuver – Phillies Nation

Amaro Says Phillies Have Room to Maneuver

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro joined Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio on Thursday, part of a carwash of interviews over the past 48 hours following the trade deadline.

After the trades of Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, Amaro is left answering questions about the future of the franchise. Amaro also joined Mike Missanelli of 97.5 the Fanatic on Wednesday and said he thinks they now have plenty of room to maneuver for 2013.

“We’ve added some talent to our system in case we have to do it via trade, and we’ve also created a situation where we have some financial flexibility to go out and sign a player or two, or maybe even three or four.”

Many expected Victorino to get dealt, but Amaro felt the need to cash in on Pence, too.

“His value on the marketplace is much, much higher rather than having him for one year, $15 million. Control has a lot to do with it. A lot of teams are anxious to improve their club that they make their run for a possible playoff spot. Frankly, the value of the player is much greater in this situation than it would be if we waited til the end of the season.”

With Mike and Mike, Amaro reiterated that the Phillies never had serious discussions to trade Cliff Lee.

“We told him (Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker), all this stuff that you’re hearing is really false and faulty. I think he (Lee) had a pretty decent peace of mind about what our direction was.”

Amaro seems to believe that Lee, teamed with Hamels and Halladay are the key to the Phillies being a contender in 2013. There also seems to be a little bit of breathing room to make other moves to fill the numerous holes all over the diamond. Adding multiple $15 million players seems unlikely, but there is a clear need in the bullpen and the outfield. Third base is another glaring weakness, but will be harder to fill because it’s so thin all over the majors.

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  1. Chuck A.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I’d look to sign Vic in the off-season at a modest 2 or 3 year deal. Bourn is too expensive.5 years at 15M per?? Thanks, but no thanks.
    An outfield of Brown, Vic and Schierholtz isn’t all that bad with a little Laynce Nix and JMJ thrown in.
    Need to address 3B, too…ugh…

  2. nick

    August 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I think Frandsen and Mini Mart are sufficient at 3rd base if Rube can’t find something better on the market. I’ll be interested to see how Dom and JMJ do with consistent playing time for the rest of the year. I might be the only one, but I think the Phils got back Pence’s value with just Schierholz, even though I like Pence. The only fear that I have for 2013 is that we’re back to the problem we had with Ibanez: we’re too lefty-heavy in the lineup, and we don’t have any RH power bats, except maybe JMJ if he can pick it up by playing consistently.

    • EricL

      August 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Oh jeez. Michael Martinez is not sufficient anywhere. Michael Martinez is completely and utterly lost at the plate. You cannot have an offensive void that big on your roster. He just can’t hit major league pitching.

      • Ryne Duren

        August 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

        thanks eric! i’m glad someone else feels that way! how can anyone even tolerate the fact that he’s here now! it’s mind boggling! i just don’t understand it! you mean there’s nobody else in the minors that they could bring up to play 3rd. CF. ?????? LF???????????

  3. Chuck A.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

    nick – MiniMart isn’t sufficient enough for anything. He’s barely a AAAA player and the only reason he’s here is because he’s probably Charlie’s illegitimate son that nobody’s supposed to know about.

    I’m joking, of course…but…seriously….he’s not an option for regular playing time for next year at 3B.

  4. Psujoe

    August 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Minny mart is not a major leaguer. Galvis will be the utility guy because jimmy and chase will need a combined 40-50 games off.

  5. Brain

    August 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Michael Bourn. Acquire him.

    Also, and I’m not sure if its just NY fan speculation, but the buzz I’ve heard is the Mets and The Wilpons are setting Wright up to walk. The way they handled his injury this year, the back issues and the fact that attendance is down… Thoughts?

  6. Chuck A.

    August 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    David Wright’s another “older” player…and will be a LOT older at the end of his contract…with injury concerns. Personally, I’d pass. Great player, though.

    Michael Bourn will be too expensive. In my humble opinion. I’d love to have him at the right price but he’ll easily get a 5 year deal in the neighborhood or 60-75M. I just can’t see putting the money there when you can probably go out and sign Vic for 3/24. And yes….I think Vic would want to come back.

  7. Psujoe

    August 2, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I’d take wright on a 3 year and Bourne at $12 per 5 years. Don’t think I’d land either though.

    • Ryne Duren

      August 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

      yea and two years from now you’ll be complaining that our third basemen is on the DL half the time and when he isn’t he can’t bend over anymore. no thanks joe. and bourn? i love the guy but 5 yrs no way! i’d rather put brown out there and see what he does. ( and i’m not a brown fan) but i wanna see so i can become one!

  8. Chuck A.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I don’t think the Phils should commit 60M to Bourn when there will be much cheaper options.
    4/48 with an option.

  9. Don M

    August 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I feel like such a hypocrite, because I think the Rollins deal was something between Fair and Good . . . .but I don’t want Victorino resigned.. I think that CF is more easily replaceable than SS …

    for all the “Rollins is so overpaid” crowd . . . for whatever Fangraphs is worth to you, he’s ranked 3rd among all SS in WAR …and 6th for his Fielding…

    Rollins was the best available SS … (is anyone ready to say that Galvis can be an everyday player in the majors?).. Victorino is not the best available CF- and it looks like the Phillies will take a run at the guy that is . . . . which would also give them a “legit” leadoff man that everyone so desperately craves.

    • EricL

      August 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

      I’d say Victorino is the second best available CF, behind Bourn. And while I absolutely love what Michael Bourn brings, if you can get Victorino to come back on a really team-friendly deal the likes of which were speculated about earlier (3/$24mm ?!), I’d do that in a second. I don’t really think that’s realistic, however. I’m thinking Victorino’s going to get something like 4/$50 or 5/$60, and if he’s in that range the better move is to go after Bourn, since he won’t be much more.

      You might be able to get BJ Upton for less than either of them, although that’s because he’s not quite as good as either of them.


    August 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Amaro has no choice but to be optimistic. He screwed up with so many over-sized and ill-timed contracts (Howard, for instance). Polanco will not be around next year, nor Blanton, nor Pence nor Victorino, nor Schneider , nor Contraras. So that is about $30 million when you add Hamels to the equation.

    It will be very interesting to see what Amaro adds to the mix. I am hopeful , but not optimistic.

    I am, however, anxious to see how we play for the rest of the year and hope Mayberry and Brown show some success, as well as our bullpen.

  11. Brain

    August 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

    There’s also the considerably cheaper Headley at 3rd. I’m still thinking Lee might be shopped in the off season. I only say that because I think its apparent Halladays option will be declined and 2013 is his last year in pin stripes. Moving Lee in the winter frees up between pence, Vic, blanton and another around 40-45 mil. That could plug a lit of holes and leave room still to shop a servicable SP. Gillick understood hitting and a BP won games, not the SP.

    • EricL

      August 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

      So your thesis is that because Halladay is in decline and won’t be here long-term, Amaro is going to deal Cliff Lee, leaving the Phillies with a rotation of Hamels, Worley, Kendrick, ???, ??? going forward?

      Yeah, I don’t see that happening.

      How about this: If Halladay won’t be here post 2013 you just got $20 million dollars freed up from the 2014 roster, AND you get 3 excellent, top-of-the-rotation arms in the rotation for 2013.

      • Ryne Duren

        August 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

        eric why don’t people see the logic in what you’re saying? personally i’d try to get doc semi squared away and trade him in the off season and keep lee! what’s that saying better to trade a year early than a year late! after next year our baby aces we’ll be almost ready to be filtering up to the show so people have to keep that in mind.

      • Brain

        August 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

        The *idea* is this: Amaro has seriously mortgaged the Phils future on the back of a dynasty of pitching. First of all, thats not gone *real* well. See 2011 NLDS. Without support, pitching isnt enough. Does it truly make sense to establish a long term commitment to 3 pitchers at almost 70 mil a season, with huge holes elsewhere?

        Or does it make more sense to return to the correct notion that SP is noce, but hitting, defense and bull pen win games, series, and titles. If Halladay is gone after next year, an I believe he will be, then youll have a huge chunk of salary committed to just 2 pitchers, almost 50 million. You still lack bats, a suitable defense and a bull pen.

        If you move Lee in the off season, that retains TWO quality starters, frees up another 20+mil and gives them enough wiggle room to obtain a servicable starter next year to replace Halladay. Then youd have Hamels, Halladay, Worley, Cloy and kendrick next year in 2014 Hamels, (insert SP whos FA in 2014), Worley, Cloyd and either Kendrick or Pettibone. AND, if a lee trade is properly handled, you get a decent return of prospects. And money saved applied to a decent leadoff like Bourn and a quality 3rd base.

    • Don M

      August 2, 2012 at 10:53 am

      “considerably cheaper” … in salary only . I don’t even know if we have enough prospects to send to San Diego to get Headley

  12. Chuck A.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Yeah, but Don… are you seriously ok with paying Michael Bourn between 60 and 75 M to play CF when there are cheaper options? Say what you want about Vic…he wasn’t my favorite Phillie either….but if they could get him for something like 3/24-27 don’t you think that’s a better use of resources? I mean..they’re gonna have to have some $$$ for a decent 3B.

    Bourn as a leadoff hitter would be pretty nice,though.. I just don’t know…

  13. Don M

    August 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Bourn’s deal depends on who has money to spend on a CF …. Texas, Phillies, Nats… Cubs?… Marlins (for some reason, I think they’ll make a play for Hamilton if he becomes available).

    Angels, Red Sox and Dodgers have their CF… I think Bourn will have to weigh Phillies vs Nats … he’s apparently close friends with Ryan Howard- and he knows this organization… he’s going to be in a pennant race against the Nats, maybe he’ll grow to hate them like we do …

    5 years, $12 M ($60 M total) for Bourn sounds fair to me . . . would any team go 6 years, $15 ($90 M total) …. he’ll be 30 next year, anything longer than a 5 year deal seems to long for a “speed” player- same reason I wouldn’t sign Victorino (who will be 32 to start next year).

    BJ Upton will be 28 next year . . . any chance we’d go after him?
    The other guy I like, but wouldn’t fill the CF spot is Nick Swisher… though he’d be 32 next year too, I feel like you could get him much cheaper than Victorino- higher OPS than Vic would look good batting 5th or 6th maybe

  14. Chuck A.

    August 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I think I remember that Bourn and Howard were close….and had just forgotten. I guess that could be a difference-maker if it came down to us and another team (Nats).

    Don’t get me wrong…I’d love to have him here and if he’s signed in December I’ll consider it a nice early Christmas present. Just not totally convinced that it’s the best utilization of salary. Especially with third base being such a priority as well.

  15. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    August 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I posted yesterday that I’m mystified by all the chances Mini-Mart gets! He’s atrocious. I don’t understand why the organization sweats the guy.

    • Manny

      August 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

      I think everybody out there is mystified, too. I much rather see Fontenot play… I still wanna win games and it’s not like Mini-Mart is gonna become a better player.

    • Bob in Bucks

      August 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Martinez is there because he does one thing very well – he can catch the damn ball. And he can do it at 2nd, SS, 3rd and the OF. I see him as a late game defensive replacement. He won’t get many at bats. Relax, he is the 25th guy and only til Sep 1.

  16. Don M

    August 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

    If there were top Free Agent 3b available over the next 2 years . . . I could see the thought of trying to save money in CF, etc . . . but when your 3b options are either A) lesser-players that you can sign in FA .. or B) trade prospects for a better caliber player … I don’t know if the money thing matters that much

    take Chase Headley . . . if we traded for him, that shouldn’t prevent us from signing Bourn …

    I have NO idea what Borun will get. the Nats have been trying hard to spend money lately – and now that they look to be a playoff contender already (a year earlier than many of us thought), that should make them a Free Agent destination too … players want to win …

    If the Nats outbid the Phillies by a ton, I think they’d get the player . . . but in the case of Bourn, if offers were somewhat close, we might have the edge for various factors ……..but also we’re just speculating . . Maybe the Phillies plan to get Youkilis ($4 M) and BJ Upton ($8-10 M) for $12-14 per year . . . . fill two holes instead of just Bourn …who knows

  17. Big Hark

    August 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Lee will get traded in the off season. He is gonna go to Arizona for Justin Upton and a pitcher. Davis Wright will be the starting 3rd baseman next year. And B.J. Upton will be signed in the off season to play center. How is this for a lineup: Rollins, Utley, Wright, Howard, J.Upton, B.J.Upton, Ruiz, Brown/Mayberry platoon. This lineup will hit for average and power. You can’t bring in pitchers late to go against 2 or 3 lefties or righties in a row. This can all be done with money to spend in the bullpen and a quality #3 starter. Follow this Amaro and you win the World Series next year.

    • Brain

      August 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      I think the Mets are setting Wright up to walk, but I doubt the Phils will land him, and if they do, it would be to a long term deal and he is injury prone. I still think if Phils can net Olt from TX thats the best option as hes under club control

      Lee to AZ I dont see. Lee to TX I still see.

      B.J. Upton would be a fine addition but Bourn or Vic would be better. And I dont see Vic doing less than 5 years or at least wanting that and Philly will NOT give him 5 years

      • Big Hark

        August 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        Texas is not trading Olt. He just got called up and is staying put. The D.Backs want no part of Upton and want a stud pitcher. Upton is under contract for 9 mil for the next coulpe of years. And Wright is not as injury proned as you think. Want no parts of Victorino he leads the majors in pop ups to the infield and that is a true fact. He is overrated. Was glad to see him leave.

      • schmenkman

        August 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Victorino was actually underrated.

        One of the best OF’s in the NL over the past few years.

  18. Big Hark

    August 2, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Lee will get traded in the off season. He is gonna go to Arizona for Justin Upton and a pitcher. David Wright will be the starting 3rd baseman next year. And B.J. Upton will be signed in the off season to play center. How is this for a lineup: Rollins, Utley, Wright, Howard, J.Upton, B.J.Upton, Ruiz, Brown/Mayberry platoon. This lineup will hit for average and power. You can’t bring in pitchers late to go against 2 or 3 lefties or righties in a row. This can all be done with money to spend in the bullpen and a quality #3 starter. Follow this Amaro and you win the World Series next year.

    • Jeff Dowder

      August 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      No team wants any part of a 34 year old pitcher with $102 million left on his deal. That 2016 “buyout” becomes guaranteed with 200 IP in 2015 or 400 IP in 2014-15. He’s not going anywhere unless the Phillies pick up at least half of that contract.

    • Bob in Bucks

      August 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Big Hark –

      Nice dream but you don’t seem to take into account money. Uptons+Wright are a lot more than Lee and Amaro already has money issues. Also you are down two starters. Like to see you show some numbers rather than spouting off names.

      • George

        August 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        Hark also hasn’t taken into account the Mets 2013 option on Wright.

  19. Psujoe

    August 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Question on Hamels contract. It’s $132/6 plus a $6 million bonus. Plus a vesting option for a 7th year and some other stuff. The bonus can be prorated as the team sees fit. I wonder if the Phil’s put all $6 million this year with the space they created?

    • Bob in Bucks

      August 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Psujoe – No, the “bonus” cannot be prorated as team sees fit. MLB rules do not apply to specifc year compensation but to average of contract. So it is simply 144/6 = $24 million. That will be used in the calculation of each year of the contract no matter what he is actually paid that year. So even if he gets $19.5 next year for purposes of the luxury tax he is $24 million. Anyone who starts the calculations with the actual payroll is missing the point AND is not including benefits which adds millions to the calculation. Phillies are still in danger of paying the luxury tax in 2012 because no one talks about the benefits

      • George

        August 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

        According to Amaro, the Phils are now under the tax. It seems reasonable to me that any clear-thinking front office HAS taken those benefits into account, even if fans haven’t, so I tend to believe it.

      • psujoe

        August 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        Yeah, after I posted it I realized they couldn’t put the bonus on last years contract. Phils should be OK for 2012 with almost $6 million coming off. I also think Blanton will get dealth this month.

  20. Lefty

    August 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Anyone have interest in Peter Bourjos? I like his defense a lot, but his hitting is Meh so far. He probably wouldn’t cost much as the Angels have a lot of guys to play OF.

    Maybe he can be hitter ala the way Shane became one for us?

    He has two more years of control which is very important for this team.

    I’m not totally sold, just wanted to get some opinions.

  21. George

    August 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I think that whoever the Phils go after for CF depends on who they get for 3rd base, and vice versa. If they sign a high average/on base type for either position, they will almost have to go for a power bat for the other; preferably a right-handed power bat.

  22. TheDipsy

    August 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I hate to sound like “sound fundamental baseball guy” but, with the pitching we have, speed and defense will go a looooooong way towards winning the division next year. Think 1985 Cardinals. Think of what crap they had on offense – Ozzie, Tommy Herr, Oberkfell, Porter. But they were solid defenders. McGee, Coleman, Ozzie and even Herr. Very speedy.

    The really cool part of winning this way is that its cheaper to put a fast, good defending team on the field than a bunch of so so’s who can hit. See: PENCE, Hunter. Bourn in CF. Lets start there. 4y44m. Makes you very strong up the middle. 3B – Hey….your gonna have to bite the bullet somewhere so why not bring Polanco back? Buy him out and sign for a couple of mill next year. I guess Dom Brown will be in LF. That leaves RF. Mayberry and a sterling LH (Nix) bat to mix in? Hey, we don’t have a lotta money. Unless we go over the tax…which I hope we do.

    CF Bourn
    SS Rollins
    2B Utley
    1B Howard
    C Chooch
    LF Brown
    RF Nix/Mayberry

    The Dipsy

    • George

      August 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I’ll agree, somewhat. But…

      The ’85 Cards had one thing you forgot: ridiculous speed. The Phils don’t have that, even if they add Bourn. Rollins is okay, but slowing down, Utley is fast but questionable, and I can’t think of anyone else who’d be a genuine base stealing threat. Maybe Brown.

      I also doubt that Bourn would settle for $11 million per. And if Polanco come back, they’ll need a really good backup, not guys like Wigginton, Frandsen, Luna, or Martinez.

  23. TheDipsy

    August 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    True. But we have ridiculous pitching. Our O needn’t be as good as the Cards O because we have much better pitching than they did. Speed is also important for D as well as on the basepaths. Yeah, they had silly speed.

    The Dipsy

    • George

      August 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Unfortunately, even stellar pitching needs some offense to back it up. I don’t think the Phils have enough speed to generate enough of that.

      I do agree, though, that speed and particularly defense go a long way. One only needs to look at some of the games the Phils have lost this year because Pence misplayed a fly ball, or Wigginton botched a grounder.

  24. Floyd

    August 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Sorry guys. Bourne is having the best year of his career. I just don’t see where he is a significant upgrade to Vic. Check his career numbers. More speed, less power, a bit younger. Just have a feeling we’ll be sick of him if we see him a bit more. Oh, and he’s on pace for 162 strikeouts.

  25. Phil

    August 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I am not happy that we got rid of Victorino. I can deal with Pence leaving. Pence wasn’t that good, only rarely. The fans should give Victorino a standing ovation whenever LA comes to Philly. Then we’ll have some of those idiots who will boo.

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