Good Help Is Hard to Find

amaro.jpgPhillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. posed a question to reporters this afternoon at Tropicana Field:

“You don’t see a whole lot of pitching moved. How much pitching moved last year? Two? Three?”

Let’s see. CC Sabathia went to the Brewers. Rich Harden went to the Cubs. And Joe Blanton went to the Phillies.

That’s about it, right? That’s not much, but the Phillies have been pretty successful in recent seasons finding starting pitching help before or after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They hope this year is no different. They acquired Cory Lidle on Aug. 9, 2004, from the Reds. They acquired Jamie Moyer on Aug. 19, 2006, from the Mariners. They acquired Kyle Lohse on July 30, 2007, from the Reds. And last year they got Blanton from the A’s on July 17.

But this year could be difficult.

“I think things will heat up late because everybody is still kind of in it,” Amaro said. “There’s no real team bailing or stepping out of this thing. There’s going to be a pretty vicious fight for probably two of the divisions in our league and the wild card. There are so many teams that are still involved. I don’t expect that to change a whole lot in the next month, but it’ll start to crystallize a little more into July.

“The availability really isn’t there. The number of buyers and the number of sellers aren’t close to equaling each other.”

That seems to be the case. Several teams have scouted Pedro Martinez recently, and he hasn’t pitched since last season when he went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA with the Mets. The Phillies have no interest in Martinez, but it shows not a lot of teams are making their pitching available.


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Ironic isn’t it? They acquire Kyle Lohse and Jamie Moyer. Lohse, the young guy, performs well and the Phillies bad mouth him as they let him go out the door. Moyer, the ancient guy, performs well and the Phillies award him with a ridiculous two year deal. Moyer picked up this year where he left off last year or better yet failed to pick up. Now the Phillies are stuck with Moyer for another year. It looks as if the Phillies will be eating another contract next year.

I think they also picked up J.C. when he was released by Boston two summers ago.

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