Amaro Talks Halladay, Martinez, World Peace, Etc.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. spoke with reporters a few minutes ago at Citizens Bank Park. He would not comment specifically about Halladay, who is available via trade. But he talked about trading for the theoretical stud pitcher. He also said little about Pedro Martinez other than “we are trying to do what we can to add to our club, and if we feel at the end of the day Pedro is going to help us than we’ll make a run at him.”
Question: Can you go out and get a stud pitcher?
Answer: We have some flexibility. A lot of it depends on the player that we’re talking about. But we have some flexibility. It’s not unlimited. And as you know, we have the highest payroll we’ve ever had. We’re well over $130 million, and there is a limit to what we can spend.
Q: Are there untouchable players in your farm system?
A: There are some untouchables in our system. We feel that we’re building a pretty strong farm system. … We have to be prudent about what our future is about. It is important to win now, and we understand the importance of that. But that said, there are players we would like to keep for our future. And I would say they’re not as touchable as others.
Q: But it is a situation where you absolutely would not trade somebody? If the best player in the Major Leagues is available, are there still players you would not consider trading?
A: There are.
(Those players are right-handers Kyle Drabek and Jason Knapp and outfielder Dominic Brown.)
Q: Last year you reportedly finished second in the CC Sabathia sweepstakes …
A: Really? If you’re second, you’re last, I guess.
Q: Are you in better position to make a trade for somebody like a Halladay this year?
A: I think we’re in good position to do some things overall. Like I said, I think our farm system has improved. Again, when you’re talking about doing trades of any type, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We may think our guys are much better than they think our guys are. We’ll try to be aggressive with the right deal. At the same time, we have to be prudent about what some of these moves might impact our future, too.
Q: You understand fans and the manager don’t like to hear that?
A: Oh, yeah, I understand that. The goal is to win this year. There’s no question about that. That doesn’t change. But we didn’t get CC last year and we didn’t get Manny (Ramirez) last year and most of these guys on the field right now are toting rings around.
Q: Would you substract from the Major-League roster to make a trade?
A: The goal is to add, not to subtract. That’s really the goal, so subtracting doesn’t necessarily help us.
Q: If there is a guy you’re pretty sure can help you win a World Series this year, but you’d have to give up a guy you think might be a superstar … is that a tough call to make? Kind of like Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. Is it worth giving up a guy like Smoltz for a World Series?
A: Well, if you can guarantee me that it’s going to win a World Series then probably, yeah. You don’t get a chance to win too many World Series. But that’s the thing. When teams put a really huge investment in a move they expect to win. Some pretty big names got moved last year and while those teams made the playoffs, they didn’t necessarily make for a championship club.
Asked about getting a right-handed bat for the bench, Amaro said, “I’d like to. Do we need to? I’m not sure. We’ve picked up guys like Matt Stairs late.”