Amaro: We’ve Already Made Offers

Ruben Amaro Jr.,The free-agent market opened yesterday and Ruben Amaro Jr. wasted no time.

“We’ve already made offers on several players,” he said from Arizona, where he is watching some of the organization’s top young talent in the Arizona Fall League.

Amaro declined to divulge names, but he can be aggressive. He moved quickly in Nov. 2011, when he signed closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million contract. Knowing there is a lack of power hitters available, perhaps Amaro is making a push to sign one. They need right-handed hitters in the worst way.

Nelson Cruz, 33, fits the bill. He hits right-handed, although he served a 50-game suspension last season and is not a defensive stalwart. Amaro has stressed the Phillies need to improve its outfield defense.

Carlos Beltran and Mike Morse also are free agents. The Phillies have tried to acquire them in the past. (Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said yesterday on SiriusXM that one team already has made an offer to Beltran.) The two biggest free-agent outfielders are Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, but they are expected to sign elsewhere.

Amaro said in September resigning catcher Carlos Ruiz was a top priority, but he couched that possibility this week.

“Well, we’re fortunate now that it’s kind of opened up,” Amaro said of the free-agent market. “There are several candidates that could be our catcher next year. We’ll see what happens. I mean, we’re in the open season.”

If the Phillies cannot resign Ruiz, there are options like Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski. But McCann hits left-handed and seems destined to join an American League team. Pierzynski also hits left-handed, and Saltalamacchia is a switch-hitter that has a career .599 OPS hitting from the right side.

The Phillies could sign a less expensive catcher like Dioner Navarro, which would allow them to spend money elsewhere. But Ruiz seems like the best of the bunch, although he turns 35 in January and is coming off his worst offensive season since 2008.

The Phillies also are trying to upgrade their pitching staff, but if Amaro is trying to be aggressive, improving an anemic offense – the Phillies tied for 26th in baseball with just 610 runs scored – might be the place to start.

*

The Phillies have hired Scott Freedman to be their analytics guy.

UPDATE: Wanted to clarify something about Freedman. He is not a full-time Phillies employee. MLB is paying his salary as part of a partnership with the Phillies, although the Phillies have the opportunity to hire him permanently once his externship concludes before the beginning of the regular season.

33 Comments

I read nothing in this article that gives me any faith in 2014 being a turn around year. PLEASE just do a regular rebuild and quit this belief we are a piece or two away from being a contender.

What were you expecting at this early point in the “game”? All Amaro can do at this point is make offers. This is a poker game. It’s up to the other GMs to determine whether Amaro really has a good hand or is just bluffing.

You can’t do a “regular rebuild” when you have toxic contracts at closer, shortstop/leadoff, and 1B/cleanup. This is why they resigned Utley. They could have traded him for prospects – but why bother when you can’t blow your team up anyway?

Folks keep saying “blow it up! blow it up!” How exactly do you propose they do that when contractual obligations will keep a sizable chunk of your roster on board anyway?

So far the Phillies have whiffed on several pitching coach candidates, and failed to re-sign Carlos Ruiz before the free-agent market opened. An inauspicious beginning, which is what we’ve come to expect from Ruben Amaro Jr.

Did you want therm to make the qualifying offer of $14 million and pay him that next year?

Yes. It would be an overpay, I agree, but we need a stopgate measure for 1 year. I’d rather that then a multi year contract for someone who will block one of the prospects from taking the job in ’15

grab ellsbury,shin-soo choo, and price/nolasco, trade howard-rollins-brown @ paps
keep utley,and ruiz. 1st-ruff-2nd-utley-3rd-asche/franco-short-achse/franco-revere
choo-ellsbury- by trading howard and co. will save 50M that we use to sign the
other (3) also counting doc’s-20M, our outfield will have more speed and a .286 ltime
BA. combined,also the best rotation in the majors.keep-franzen, galvis,hernandez,
rupp,plus 6 in bullpen, bowa/utley manage infielders, with veterans in outfield and
pitching.

That’s a great plan. You should be a GM.

Next time you sleepwalk, please don’t post here…..

And to what teams would Rollins, Pap, Howard and Brown go to and why would they want them??? And where are your starters aside from the 2 lefties. And who is your closer and set up guy? Why would those guys on the top want to come to Philly>? I have followed the Phils since 1947 but frankly, you seem to be at Lehigh.

Who wouldn’t want a Brown?

I would rather sign a catcher with more offensive power than Ruiz

Really? You’d rather have Salty, a catcher who gets clutch post-season hits, but sucks at framing pitches and also loses WS games by throwing the ball away?

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Amaro is going to try and save his job and drag the team down with him in the process. Enough bad contracts. Go with youth and/or try to be creative with a trade or two. They are too lefthanded in their lineup but Howard is untradeable, so they need to do something with Revere or Brown.
But Amaro won’t do any of that. He’ll give out more money and years to aging players and we will be fighting the Mets for third place in the division.

phan52, there is NO WAY that Ruben will lose his job by anything he does this offseason. We all know that the level of his incompetence this past season was unsurpassed by any other GM in MLB. He is clearly already the worst GM out there. He CAN’T do worse; he can only do AS BAD. Since Ruben’s relationship with the owners transends his inability to do his job, let’s NOT post stuff like, “Amaro is going to try and save his job….” The fact is he will try to do better this offseason, but fear of losing his job is NOT driving him.

And look where all of Ruin’s quick signings in prior years has gotten the Phillies today. I shutter at the thought of Ruin signing anyone quickly. He usually bids against himself. His dismal record is not worse only because he failed to sign BJ Upton last year.

*shudder*

Phillies will sign Nelson Cruz, Dioner Navarro and Edward Mujica.

It’s more likely to be Cory Hart (Ruben will say he is the next Jayson Werth), Salty (for his bat and despite his shiddy defensive skills and pitch calling and framing) and AJ Burnett (the worst and most expensive starter on the market.

Tanaka?…Yeah,right! lol

GO for the top tier players…..they may cost more, but the money spent will not be wasted, let alone fill those emptied seats. Add Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Nelson Cruz, Scherzer, Robinson Cano……SUBTRACT( either trader, release or not resign)) Ryan Howard, John Mayberry, Jimmie Rollins, Halladay, Ruiz….( all 5 ARE THE REASON THE PHILLIES are LOSING ……..GO BIG OR DON’T EVEN BOTHER……GO BIG OR STAY A LOSER, RUBEN

When did the Gugenheim Group buy the Phils?……

beltran, possibly price or two other starters, two relivers,
, granderson and ruiz and the phils will win in 2014

Stop with the thought of winning. This team needs a rebuild. I

Wow! Ruin is running at breakneck speed to catch up to the 21st century by hiring a temp? Reminds me of a public service ad which appeared years ago in which an Abraham Lincoln look alike was interviewing for a job. In apparent response to questions about his lack of education, Abe responded “…but I have read a lot of books”. To the same question, Scott Freedman’s answer would be “…but I have read a lot of baseball cards”.

Pick players from winning teams that had winning in their system the last few years. McCann and Ellsbury are expensive…..they are worth every dollar they will get….They are clutch, hit for AVG., and power… they have what it takes To WIN. The Phillies are cheap and until they let the dead weight go by either TRADE, not resign or release they will be doomed to repeat the last several years under Ruben. The players that have to go : Howard, Rollins, Mayberry, Ruiz,Halladay, Getting rid of players with BIG contracts of players who are dead weight and are being paid for what they did rather than what they can PRODUCE. The big money you have to pay them is ONE mistake …..seeing them strike out, hit pop ups with bases loaded, hit into double plays, and pitchers getting hit around. is a second controllable mistake. Remember the old adage …..TWO wrongs don’t make a right….this applies to HAVE NOT ballplayers. maybe your analyst will help seeing what I see. players that consistently hit for average that are on the rise rather than on the down side. there is an intangible that you cannot judge….. that is heart vs. talent ….when you have a player with both go after those players.. Some players have varying degrees of both….we need a GM or analyst to see the right package.

Funny. There is no way, besides waiting for the contracts to expire, to off-load Rollins and Howard. They might find a taker for Papelbon but they’d end up eating most of his salary anyway I’m sure. Mayberry will be non-tendered – that’s more or less a given, but this talk of “trade the big contracts” needs to be tabled – it won’t happen because the players simply do not have enough value for other teams to want them.

Signing McCann is a terrible idea. He’s left-handed, doesn’t hit left-handed pitching well (see the trend?) and is a huge injury risk. I’d take Ruiz over McCann any day of the week.

Agree with everything you say there, K. They can’t get anything at this point for Howard or Rollins, so what is the point of constantly bringing it up? Just have to hope that Howard is healthy and can provide needed power and that Rollins can stay interested.
And Ruiz is a better fit for the Phillies than McCann. Besides the fact that McCann is left-handed, he is a mediocre catcher. McCann should spend the rest of his playing days in the AL where he can get most of his at-bats as a DH.

You are being kind to McCann when describing his catching talents as mediocre.

McCann is another lefty. NO WAY he ever becomes a Phillie

So Ruben has made a bid on Masahiro Tanaka? I’m sure he way underbid. The fact that he’s telling us guarantees that it isn’t a serious offer. If Rube were REALLY going after Tanaka, the world wouldn’t hear about it until it happened. That’s his M.O. He just wants to make it look like he’s doing his job.

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