Plenty of ‘Ifs’ Ahead for Phillies

Jimmy RollinsNow what?

The Phillies could have traded just about anybody from their 25-man roster before yesterday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, but they kept everybody. Michael Young, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz, Delmon Young … they’re all still here. Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday they didn’t get “anything that was satisfactory. Nothing we thought was going to improve us. So we decided not to do anything.” Amaro said he did not want to give away his players for nothing in return, so he kept them. (CBSSports.com reported the Phillies weren’t interested in shipping Young and Ruiz to the Yankees.) The Phillies can still trade these players before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline, so maybe sometime between now and then they will get something more satisfactory in return. Remember, they made a waiver trade with Joe Blanton last year. They also acquired Jamie Moyer, Matt Stairs, Jeff Conine, Jose Hernandez, etc., on waiver trades in the past.

Maybe the Phillies will deal somebody after all.

But at this very moment it looks like the Phillies will be carrying the same mantra into 2014 as they carried into 2013.

If, if, if, if, if, if, if

If Ryan Howard is healthy and produces like a $125 million cleanup hitter …  if Utley’s knees can stay healthy another year … if Jimmy Rollins can bounce back from the lowest OPS of his career … if Cody Asche is the answer at third base … if Darin Ruf can hit big-league pitching on an everyday basis … if Ben Revere can repeat his success the last couple months before he got hurt … if Domonic Brown can replicate his first full season in the big leagues … if they can find somebody to replace Ruiz (I can’t see the Phillies bringing him back) … if Papelbon’s declining velocity is no big deal … if they can rebuild the bullpen … if Miguel Gonazlez really is a middle-of-the-rotation starter … if they can build a better bench and improve their depth at Triple-A (they should be able to find somebody somewhere better than Michael Martinez if they can’t develop a player better than him) … if those things happen then the Phillies have a chance at competing for a spot in the postseason.

It is a sobering thought.

Basically, the team goes into 2014 feeling pretty good about its starting rotation with Cole Hamels, Lee, Kyle Kendrick, Gonzalez and maybe Roy Halladay, depending on how he pitches later this season and his desire to remain in Philadelphia. Everything else is a crap shoot.

“My job is to put ourselves in a position to have a lot less holes,” said Amaro, when asked about the ifs with this team. “We have a lot of time to do that. Our job is to be a contender every year. That is what my job is — to make sure the Philadelphia Phillies are contending for a championship every year. We’re not contending right now. We aren’t completely out of it, but we aren’t in the position I’d like us to be in, clearly. I have to think about 2014, and when I think about 2014, I don’t think about coming in second or third or fourth place. I think about trying to win our division and trying to put us in a position to do that. Whether we can do that with younger players or older players or experienced players, that remains to be seen. That’s part of our job, to design the club so that we can be a better club and contending club.”

How Amaro plans to accomplish is a mystery.

16 Comments

If any quote applies to Amaro it’s one by John Foster Dulles, which goes something like, “The test of leadership is not whether you have problems, it’s whether you have the same problems you had last year.” Doofus Amaro has proven 4 years in a row that he’s no leader. Why is he still there?

nobody knows. hopefully he and charlie will be gone very soon

The *good* teams eliminate as many “ifs” as possible. Standing pat at the (more important) trade deadline shows a clear lack of vision and inflated opinion of the roster. If RAJ make bold moves to keep up with the division (which IS going to be more competitive in the coming years), get ready for 1965 – 1975 and 1984 – 1992.

Why the Phillies thought standing pat at the deadline was a good idea is beside me. Not trading any of the expiring contracts is inexcusable! RAJ should be ashamed of himself, and should be fired. But, apparantly, ownership thinks he built the 2007-2011 teams. He didn’t. Gillick did. RAJ is lucky the players Gillick brought in were so strong. They made RAJ look good. He gutted the farm system and made terrible trades.
As far as next season, they need to infuse what little talent they have in the minors into the major league team. Let your young catchers battle it out in spring training. Winner gets the job. There is nothing in free agency at C. Asche at 3B. Ruf in LF. Cloyd/Pettibone #4 & 5 starters. Let the young bullpen arms continue to learn on the job.

You give Gillick too much credit. He merely added to what he was presented. As often as not he merely caught lightening in a bottle.

Why should the Phillies trade players just to trade them? If no one offers them anything that would actually improve the ball club, what’s the point?

Because something is better than nothing.

Tell that to the Indians and Blue Jays. They supposedly got blue chip prospects from the Phillies in return for Lee and Halladay. Are ANY of those players even playing in the big leagues right now? Now think about the bottom-of-the-barrel prospects we might have received for Young & Chooch. “Cannon fodder” doesn’t even do it justice.

“Because something is better than nothing.” – this is a false statement.

Ok, then educate me. What do the Phillies get, in draft compensation, for these guys?

There’s a thing called a qualifying offer. If a player is given a qualifying offer and signs with another team then the team that gave the offer gets the signing team’s first draft pick (unless the signing team is one of the first 10 draft picks in which case the offering team gets their second). A player must be with the team the entire year to be eligible (so if they had traded Young the team that got him would not be able to make a qualifying offer, for example).

Michael Young walks after the season ends. What do the Phillies get? Nada. Why keep him?

The draft pick compensation will likely be better than the garbage that NY was offering.

You might be a RAJ……..with Jeff Foxworthy-

IF you think anyone left from 2008 is going to rebound into a solid contributor again…..you might be a RAJ

IF you think letting someone walk away as a free agent at the end of the year and get nothing in return….you might be a RAJ

IF you think resigning an injury-prone 35 year old infielder to a $30m contract so he can compliment your two other injury/laziness-prone aging, over priced infielders….you might be a RAJ

IF on August 1st you believe you are only one or two pieces away from being a contender for this year and next….you might be a RAJ

Sigh.

Ryan Howard is having a $25+ million dollar “house” built which required a variance from the town to approve the moat being built around it.
His production decline happens to coincide nicely with what I am sure is a very stressful venture overseeing construction of the bowling alley, etc.

why does raj still have a job? why does charlie still have a job?

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