Amaro: Other Teams Weren’t Aggressive Enough

Ruben Amaro Jr.The Phillies are headed to their third consecutive season without a winning record and it is clear they need to make changes to have any shot to win in the future. But with a slew of players available to trade to help those efforts they traded nobody before Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Ruben Amaro Jr. kept a stiff upper lip as he spoke to reporters about it Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park.

“Not disappointed,” Amaro said. “More surprised that there wasn’t more aggressive action from the other end. We have some pretty good baseball players here.”

But there seemed to be a clear difference of opinion there. The Phillies look at a roster with Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon, A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Antonio Bastardo and others and see players that can help contending teams. That might be true, but other teams looked at those players with age, injury or performance concerns often with high price tags attached to them.

“Well, I would disagree with that,” Amaro said, asked if the Phillies overvalued their own players. “In no scenario were we asking for players that were their top prospects. We were not looking for exorbitant paybacks, so to speak, we were looking for players that would help us, but I think we were very reasonable in the discussions that we had.

“I think one of the most over-coveted elements of baseball are prospects. I don’t know how many prospects that have been dealt over the last several years have really come to bite people in the ass.”

Amaro said he sensed teams believed the Phillies were desperate to deal and ultimately would cave to their demands.

“I’ve made it very, very clear that we didn’t have any pressure to make deals,” he said. “What our goal was to try and make our club better. So if there’s a deal to help us get there, we would’ve done it. There really wasn’t a deal we felt comfortable with or a deal that we were going to acquire talent that was compensatory to the talent.”

But money was a big issue. Lee is owed $37.5 million following this season, but would make $52.5 million if he pitches 200 innings next year to automatically vest a 2016 club option. Papelbon is owed $13 million next season, plus a $13 million club option for 2016 that automatically vests with 55 games finished next season or 100 games finished in 2014-15. Burnett could make as much as $12.75 million next season with a player option.

Amaro said he made it clear to teams they would take on some money to move players.

“Money wasn’t going to be an impediment for us,” he said. “It was trying to get the right baseball deal. We weren’t going to let money impede that. My feeling is if we had an opportunity to improve the club with the type of talent we wanted to get back, then we would have made a move.”

So the Phillies will continue to try to make trades before the August 31 waiver trade deadline. If that does not happen they will try again in the offseason.

“We’re not playing like contenders now, we’re hopeful we’ll be playing at that level as the season goes on here,” Amaro said. “My job is to try to get us to that point. Whether it takes a year, three months, or two years, that’s my job and I’ll continue to strive to get there.”

Amaro is feeling pressure from a frustrated fan base, but he said he feels like he will be in place in the offseason to make those changes.

“Me personally? Yes,” he said.

Has he received assurances from Phillies president David Montgomery?

“I haven’t had any discussions,” he said.

But what about the organization’s talent evaluators and developers? The Phillies have not drafted or developed talent as well as other organizations over the past 10 years and have misidentified talent at the Major League and Minor League levels recently. Names like Delmon Young, Chad Qualls, Brandon Moss, Jason Grilli and others come to mind.

“We evaluate everything all the time and we’re all being evaluated,” Amaro said, asked if changes could come in those departments. “That’s part of the process just like any other organization or company. We’re evaluated. My personnel, the personnel that works in the baseball department will also be evaluated.”

But can a turnaround happen quickly?

“I don’t see a scenario right now where our roster is going to be the same roster in April that it is right now,” Amaro said. “It will change. It will need to change because we need to get better. But is it possible? Yes. Whether or not we can get there, we’ll see. Our job is to try to put us in a position where we’re contenders again, if we have to take a step back to move forward and get there, we’ll see how it goes.”


Good article Todd!


So tired of hearing about Moss. The Red Sox and Pirates gave up on him as well. He was a 28 year old minor leaguer when they let him go. It’s great that he flourished in Oakland but he was no longer a prospect when he left here.

Ya know who doesn’t value prospects? Billy Beane. I guess you should’ve dealt with him, a-hole.

Seems like other teams were plenty aggressive. Just not buying what RAJ is selling

Maybe the picture accompanying the article is what RAJ is shooting for. Empty seats.

#fireruben is trending. this guy is in his own world. he probably drafted howard ahead of rizzo on his fantasy team. so clueless.

zo needs to grow a pair and ask the tough questions, make some noise instead of toting the line

deflect blame, zero accountability

classic failure of leadership, pathetic

laughable if i weren’t a phils fan

They shouldn’t just give these guys away if they could not find what they are looking for. Word I’ve heard from a few other writers is that hitters of any talent, which this team desperately needs, are hard to find right now. Therefore, I question giving up Byrd, one of our better ones, just to do something. We are now stuck with Lee until at least next year, only hope there is that he comes back healthy, ’cause I think he will now retire as a Philly. Jon Heyman thinks the team should deal Hamels, honestly, not sure why. They have no one behind him to bolster the pitching staff, so I don’t see getting rid of him, I see no way they could get close to equal value. I think the team is beginning to realize that they are way too generous with these contracts, and that is now hurting their ability to make any moves. If I was the owner, I’d think seriously about dumping the entire talent-evaluating and development staff and starting over. I think it is pretty clear that they are one of the biggest problems this team has, more so than the players, at least in the long-term view.

I would have tried to trade for Stanton. Who would be offered for him?, Cliff Lee and Dom Brown ( of course Lee got injured last night though) .. Maybe the Marlins would have bitten but realize the whole Marlins team is hovering around the $40M payroll mark combined, why would an owner like that take on Lee’s salary?

Probably all of these teams wanted something for nothing, here I applaud Rube for not just giving them away. There’s time to make trades still and after the season if any team is interested still in some players.

I think the Phillies need to do anything to trade Howard at this point. Just like the Cardinals parted ways with Pujols, it’s time to do that with the big man.

Do you really think the Marlins would have traded Stanton for Lee and Brown? With Lee’s age and contract plus Dom Brown wouldn’t even be a starting outfielder on many teams. Most of the time when trades are brought up like this, they favor one team so much it’s not realistic.

Well, before it was know that Lee was injured again this may have been something that would have worked as far as a trade. Maybe the Phils would have had to pay some money too. The Marlins aren’t out of the race yet, they have just lost a key pitcher after the trade deadline.

As far as Stanton, he’s not the second coming of Babe Ruth, he’s got 143 HR in 5 seasons of play. He’s an above average hitter with power, he’s had some bouts with injury as well.

Lee’s a Cy Young Award winner and up to the other night, he was one of the top pitchers that you wanted on the mound for your team.

Brown was looking like he found a homerun swing last year, was it a fluke? What was it? He could find it again? I think he’s capable of being a starter, the Phillies failed to re-sign Wally Joiner who was credited with helping Brown find his swing.

The Marlins owner is just plain thrifty, look what he did to get that new stadium, threw up a smoke screen by signing a lot of big money players and then sold them off and still fields a somewhat contending team with the lowest payroll in the game. He’s sort of a cheap Billy Beane that is about bringing up no-namers and making something out of them rather than acquiring these outrageous salaries.

In any business deal there is a window where the gap between today and tomorrow seems short and there is still value in what are willing to give up. The value of those who the Phillies are offering is clearly in the rear view mirror. This team is OLD and lsow to see what the future was going to be, unlike the Cardinals – not just the players but the ownership and management.

Trying to trade Howard, Pap, Lee, AJ, Byrd and Bastardo is like trying to put your seat belt on AFTER you’ve gone through the windshield.

Hard to believe Whitey! Our team old and unproductive. Next year what do we have to look forward to? The same the solution sell the team bring in a fresh prospective, the farm director fire all of them, RJJr fire. Although I like Sandberg his after game news conference put me to sleep, I know he has fire in his belly but you don’t see it. Ryan Howard getting closet the Mendoza line, release him, Sandberg keeps hitting him 4th? I would drop him to 6th, or out of the lineup.

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