Amaro Talks Thome Trade

Phillies news release:

The Phillies have traded first baseman/designated hitter Jim Thome to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for catcher Gabriel Lino and right-hander Kyle Simon, Senior Vice President & General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. announced today.

Here are Amaro’s words from a conference call with the five Phillies beat writers in Miami:

Q: How quick did this come together?
A; We talked to some clubs over the last couple of weeks about Jim. We were trying to do two things, really. We were trying to be attentive to Jim’s situation and at the same time, trying to take care of the Phillies. First and foremost, that’s my job, to put us in the position to do the right thing for the organization. At the same time, the player that we’re talking about and the great deal of respect we have for Jim, I wanted to try to put him in a position where he can flourish.

Q: Some might think this was the first of moves to come?
A: To be frank, when it was very evident he wasn’t able to play first base for us, it was difficult to carry this type of a player on our club. We tried to do it with Ross Gload last year. He played limited first base. It ties our hands. That said, Jim was going to be and has been a guy, that was a threat for us. We were hopeful we would have him play enough on our club to stay sharp. It didn’t work out. Health-wise, he wasn’t able to play that position. In the National League, it’s very, very difficult to carry player who is unable to play the position.

Q: Do you trade Thome if you’re 10 games over .500 or a game or two out of first place?
A: It really depends. Time and circumstance dictates some of the moves you make. I’m not sure. I probably would. But again, we’re not in that position right now.

Q: Does this send a message to the players in the clubhouse?
A: This wasn’t a trade that had anything to do with a message. This is a trade that is beneficial for us later on and hopefully beneficial for Jim. If people think this is the start of us selling players off, that’s incorrect. We are in a tough spot because we have not played well and are behind. But we’re not throwing in any towels.

Q: That said, you have to pick it up soon, right?
A: It does. We also have to see what kind of impact and where we stand once both Doc and Ryan get back. They have a chance to get back in the not-so-distant future. They would be pretty big factors as far as our club is considered.

Q: What can you tell us about the players you got?
A: Lino, a kid from Venezuela, we had our scouts, Jessie Levis in particular, see him. Very young kid. Excellent catch and throw guy. He has some aptitude offensively. He can swing the bat a little bit. He actually beat up on us at Lakewood. He’s a kid Jesse sees as a high-ceiling catcher. Very, very young. He has a chance to be pretty good. He’ll probably be sent to Lakewood. We’ll move forward from there. Kyle Simon, we had Howie Freiling see him just recently. Howie liked what he saw. Pretty good sinker, pretty good stuff. Kid from University of Arizona. Last year, fourth rounder. It’s rare you get a guy that was just drafted but we like the arm. Right now he’s a starter and might project into a bullpen piece later on. But we like the arm and we’ll put him in Clearwater and see how he goes.

7 Comments

I’m shocked the Phillies got two guys in return for Thome, I know they are young, but its better than nothing. Now to focus on the mess that is the big club right now. Moves have to be made here and soon. Lets face the fact here, this team is not a playoff team this season. Victorino should be the next guy to be moved, a free agent at the end of this season, I can’t believe the Phils are looking to extend his contract here, so lets see what he can get us in a trade.

Next, one of the big three starters has to go, Lee, Hamels or Halladay. I can’t see the Phils keeping all three, thats alot of payroll right there. I’m thinking Lee still has value, maybe the Yankees want to fill the holes in thier rotation. Frees up money to sign Hamels. Its up to Amaro Jr to determine if he can re-sign Hamels or not. If he feels Hamels wants to leave Philly, its time to trade him and get something in return. If Hamels leaves Philly after the season and the Phils get nothing in return, Amaro Jr should be fired on the spot, that would be totally unacceptable.

How about Hunter Pence ? Man, I was so high on this kid at the start of this season, but his flaws have shown through loud and clear. Does he even have the same value he had last season ? I doubt it. At this point, I’d be ok trading him and putting Dom Brown back in right field and bring him up for the rest of season and see what he can do (when healthy).

I wonder if Utley has any value now, its worth putting feelers out there. I myself would keep Blanton, when healthy he has been an innings eater, a good 5th starter for this rotation. Kendrick has been so hot and cold, mostly cold this season, that he can’t be depended on long term in the 5th spot. Its time to give one of the kids a few spot starts too. Tyler Cloyd, Trevor May, bring one of them up and lets see what they got at the big league level.

Depending on who we get in any trade, there are off season moves that need to be made, that should have been made last off season. The Phils were totally unprepared for Utley to miss so much time. How does that happen ? The fan base is very disappointed in the team this year, its time for the team to make good on a poor off season and accept thier fate, no playoffs. Injuries have played a part too, but lets move on. To keep insisting that your still in the hunt and not get anything in return for a some guys would be a major fail.

Ok, first off, to say that Pence is having a worse season than last year is just plain ignorant. How can you say he’s doing worse this season than last season, when you didn’t even see him play till after the Allstar break last season? By all accounts, they’ve said he’s on track to having a better season this year than last.
Second, why would we get rid of Lee? Hamels is an uncertainty, and as far as the Yankees taking Lee, as much as they like to spend money, with this new “tax” even they aren’t going to go at it.
“The Phils were totally unprepared for Utley to miss so much time. How does that happen?”
To answer you, they have stated that last year he was brought back a too early. Look at him this year compared to last year. He’s come out already showing he’s in better shape than last year. He’s putting more effort into this than some of the guys that have been there since the start of the season.
I don’t see how you can even be a Philies fan when you’ve already counted them out so soon. There’s still the second half, and we still don’t have all of our pieces yet. Though, that’s just my opinion.

Enough already with this bullshit that the season is over for the Phillies. It is not over until the Phillies are farther back than there are games remaining to be played. That would be about mid-September if the Phillies continue on their current trajectory, not before, according to my Old School math. Want to gauge the math literacy of American’s? Come to the ZoZone and bone up on your Chinese or Hindi while you are at it..

Math is based on numbers and hard facts. This baseball team is heartless and shows little sign of being capable of a comeback. There is no correlation between your “trajectory math” and reality.
And, several sources indicate that the Phillies are currently shopping Cole Hamels. So, there’s your math lesson.

No correlation between my “trajectory math” and reality? Really? You are truly a student in the School of Disenlightenment.

I was never on board with signing Thome from the beginning, but I’m glad that he will get to have a swan song as a DH in the AL. And the fact that the Phillies got more than a fungo bat for him is a plus.

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