Amaro Talks About Pitching, Third Base, Smoltz and More
Next up for the Phillies?
Pitching and third base. Reporters had a chance to talk with Ruben Amaro Jr. about those things and more for a few minutes this afternoon at the Bank. Here is a taste of what he said:
On finding starting pitching help: “I would like to try to add some depth there, if we could. Kendrick could be one of those options. Obviously we line up with Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer and possibly Kendrick. We’d like to add some more depth if we could, but pitchers aren’t falling out of trees and I don’t have an unlimited budget so I have to try to work on the other priorities and that’s third base and the bullpen and maybe add some depth (to the rotation) with perhaps a sixth-year free agent … or take a flier or somebody who might give us some upside who may not be on anybody’s radar screen. Try to shoot for a low-risk, high-reward type of a guy. There’s a lot of pitching out there. The quality of it, you just never know.”
On interest in John Smoltz, first reported by ESPN.com: “I guess he’d fit the bill (of low risk, high reward). We’ve talked to several agents about a bunch of different guys. But we don’t talk about specific guys unless we’re signing them. But he would kind of fit the ball, certainly. I’m not sure if that’s a role he wants to play, but we’ve had some discussions with some of those guys who could give us some more pitching depth.”
On where they stand with Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre: “It is probably likely that we will not offer (salary arbitration) on either guy. I just think, number one, I don’t know that we want to put ourselves in a position to be tied up money-wise in either player. I think we want to be able to keep our flexibility as far as who we’ll make a run at. And that will financially tie us up, frankly. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to bring them back. We can still sign them back.”
On progress at third base: “I’m optimistic that we can get something done. How quickly kind of depends on the pace of the agent.”
On if they would sign a Type A free agent who is offered salary arbitration (if they did, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in 2010): “It doesn’t necessarily preclude us from moving forward on a guy. We’re going to be picking late again, and I guess the thought is, depending on the quality of the guy and how he impacts our club now and in the future, that’ll impact the decision we make to move forward on it. It obviously has an impact because our goal is to try to develop young players. And losing draft picks doesn’t help, but if you’re signing a Raul Ibanez or a higher level guy sometimes it’s worth making the move.”
Amaro also said left-hander Jamie Moyer is out of the hospital and back in Florida. But he also said Moyer is expected to have surgery on his left knee operation next month. Amaro said it could impact his start of Spring Training, but not the start of the season.
“It’s not a long recovery.”