Amaro Talks About Pitching, Third Base, Smoltz and More

smoltz.jpgThe Phillies locked up catcher Brian Schneider today, and are expected to lock up infielder Juan Castro on Thursday.

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.”

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28 Comments

I’d like to see Smoltz if they think he can help. I’m not sure – and I think he might be done – but they have scouts who are supposed to know those things.
I’d also like to see Eyre and Park come back. They both serve a valueable purpose in the bullpen.
I think Kendrick is definitely one of their options. I think Ruben’s quote pretty much rules out any sort of Halladay deal.

Declining to offer Park arbitration was dumb dumb dumb if they’re seriously trying to get him back.

Agreed with Muleman. But I DO think that the Phils should weigh the possibility of getting a little younger in that Pen too. I’d like to see Mathieson receive a spring training invite and Escalona too. Can’t wait too long too funnel some younger players into this team. Re-tool as opposed to re-build,

Agreed with Muleman. But I DO think that the Phils should weigh the possibility of getting a little younger in that Pen too. I’d like to see Mathieson receive a spring training invite and Escalona too. Can’t wait too long too funnel some younger players into this team. Re-tool as opposed to re-build,

Smoltz seems like another Pedro Martinez deal. Not sure if the Phils should go down that path again. I hope Park & Eyre get resigned. I’d hate to lose them (especially Park). Agree with other on bring up some younger talent for the pen. Schneider signing is a good move. An upgrade over Bako.

Sorry to hear about all of Moyer’s “ailments” Hope he has a speedy recovery from all.

Don’t understand why they wouldn’t offer Chan Ho arbitration. He was their best and most consistent reliever last year (when uninjured). Bring back Chan Ho!

I maybe hopeless and wishful thinking here, but why can’t the Phils at this stage of their success elevate their spending to the level of the Red Sox, Cards, angels, cubs{maybe not the Yanks}. Isn’t this what the new ball park was supposed to do?Why not Phillies Nation? Spend money to make money,not sayin they should be like the Redskins, Orioles or Cleveland, but they have been printing money at CBP, come on Smoltz? Moyer and Kendrick as a fourth ,fifth starter,no way. Come on, it doesn’t have to be a 3 or 4 year window, Be a real dynasty, be every other year in the playoffs, not every other decade

lcssjr : The Phillies already spend more than the Angeles and the Cards. And going into last year, the Phillies payroll was essentially the same as the Red Sox and less than $10 million behind the Cubs.

Scott Mathieson is on the 40 man roster. Does he really need to “invited” to spring training?

lcssjr: I’d guess that the Phils have pretty much maxed-out the benefits from the ballpark. They sold-out the joint 73 out of 81 games and sold a ton of merchandise. It’s a tough standard to keep up. Now that the “2008 World Champs” stuff isn’t going to sell anymore, the revenue stream will undoubtedly ebb a bit. Whatever they earned last year is probably the best they could do.

What they really need is a sweet TV deal like the Yankees have. I don’t know how long their current Comcast deal goes, but I’d guess that once it runs out they’ll cash-in on their popularity and come up with something like the YES Network that the Yankees have. There’s where the real money is.
Until then, I suspect they will live by their self-imposed salary cap.

Besides, spending money doesn’t guarantee anything. Ask the Cubs about that. More often than not it’s teams with home grown talent like the Phils and last year’s Rays who add a key piece or two to get them over the hump.

Best guess at your 2010 roster (with Moyer on the DL):
Rollins,
Victorino,
Utley,
Howard,
Werth,
Ibanez,
Beltre,
Ruiz,
Francisco,
Taylor,
Hairston,
Castro,
Schneider,
Lee,
Hamels,
Happ,
Blanton,
Marquis,
Lidge,
Madson ,
Romero ,
Eyre,
Durbin/Condrey,
Mathieson/Bastardo,
Dotel

phan52: I like your thinking adding Belre, Marquis, Hairston. The only name I see you forgot would be Park. Also who’s Dotel????

phan52: What happens to Dobbs?

Forgot about Dobbs. Him in place of Taylor, although I think they will want to find out about Taylor at some point since Werth will be a free agent. Dotel is a relief pitcher for the White Sox. Solid guy who can probably be brought in at a nice price.

World F-ing Champs

I like Dotel’s K rate, but he walks a lot of guys and gives up a fair amount of homers, at least in the last 3 years or so. Not worth the $6 million he made last year. Maybe if we could get him at a pay cut.

Then again, coming over to the NL from the AL and playing with the Phils’ defense behind him should help.

Don’t the Phils save $17 million by not having to pay Adam Eaton’s or Geoff Jenkins’ salaries anymore? I know Ryan gets a huge pay increase next year and a couple of other players are up for significant raises through arbitration or contract-extention negotiations, but the Phils should be able to get more without increasing spending significantly. Whatever Ruben decides to do, I just hope that all of the money the Phils spend from now on will be well-spent, no more Adam Eatons please…..

The Phillies are on the hook for about $111.5 million for 14 players and buy outs of Jenkins, Feliz and Eaton. This is assuming $1 million for Castro, also. Blanton and Victorino made about $9 million between them last year and are going to get raises through negotiation or arbitration. Without even considering a raise for these two, the Phillies are up to a $120 million for 16 players. Assuming 9 players at minimum, the remainder are going to cost at least $3.7 million. I have seen various figures indicating what the Phillies spent this past season but Cot indicates $129 million. That leaves about $5.7 million to spend beyond minimum to reach last years figure. Doesn’t leave a lot for improvement unless payroll is increased..

The Phillies did not offer Park arbitration so he is free agent and the Phillies do not get a compensatory pick.

As for Chan Ho Park, he wouldn’t have signed with the Phils anyway without a guarantee that he could win a spot in the starting rotation in the spring (i.e. the same deal as last year, but for more money). I’m not sure why Ruben didn’t offer him arbitration. In all likelihood, Park will sign somewhere else for more money and a chance to start, and the Phils will lose an opportunity to pick up a 2nd round draft pick. How much is a great middle-innings relief pitcher worth these days? Obviously not more than $2.5 million.

I think Ruben has to consider the possibility that Scott Eyre will not return next year. J.C. should be back and healthy, but it wouldn’t hurt to add another quality lefty to the pen. Dotel is right-handed power reliever and he could give up even more HRs at the Bank. The Phils should look for someone who throws a sinker; someone who can keep the ball in the park. Doesn’t Smoltz throw one?

pherrisphain, how much are those buy outs? $1 million each?

My last post states 8:01 PM as the time but I posted it at 7:31. Todd, what’s up with that?

erich, if the Phillies want to sign Smoltz for the bulllpen, I’m on board. But I don’t want him for the rotation outside of being insurance.

$1.25 million for Jenkin and $500,000 each for Feliz and Eaton.

Thanks pherrisphain.

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