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Category Archives: Ruben Amaro Jr.

Phillies Probably Done Making Moves

The Phillies are still without their power-hitting corner outfielder and they are most likely going to leave it that way.

General manager Ruben Amaro said today that the Phillies are likely done making moves, especially in their search to add a corner outfielder. They will rely on Domonic Brown, Ben Revere, Darin Ruf, John Mayberry and Laynce Nix to handle the outfield duties barring any changes.

“There’s some risk in going with a possible double platoon or letting the guys we have battle it out for playing time,” Amaro said. “There are some advantages to that, as well. The best-man-wins type of scenario can be created and likely will be created in spring training. At the same time, a lot of these guys are not proven everyday major-league players. But that doesn’t mean they cannot become them.”

The Phillies failed to acquire B.J. Upton, Cody Ross, Nick Swisher and even Josh Hamilton this off season in their hunt for a power bat. They did acquire Revere from Minnesota in a move to give them youth as well as third baseman Michael Young from Texas.

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Evaluating the Michael Young Trade

It was made official Sunday morning that the Phillies acquired 3B Michael Young and cash from the Texas Rangers for reliever Josh Lindblom and prospect Lisalverto Bonilla.

It was a good fit for both teams, with the Phillies needing a third baseman and Young wanting to continue to compete as he waived his no trade clause to Philadelphia.

“The baseball part was easy,” Young told reporters on Monday in Texas. “I have a great opportunity in Philadelphia, having the opportunity to go from one great team to another. They have a position for me; I was ready for a new challenge. I like a new challenge. As a competitor, I want to see what it’s like. The hard part was my family and what it would be like for them, being away for a summer. But once we embraced that, the baseball part was easy.”

The Phillies filled a huge hole at third for one season, prolonging their search for a more permanent solution at the hot corner. They did so without giving up too much, especially while boasting a deep and rich farm system of pitchers.

Lindblom was acquired in the Shane Victorino trade to the Dodgers before the deadline last season. He didn’t really wow the Phillies coaches, especially in late-game situations where they wanted him to pitch. Lindblom posted a 4.19 ERA in 38 2/3 innings of work in the 8th inning or later during the entire season.

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Evaluating the Ben Revere Trade

(Photo via SI.com)

(Photo via SI.com)

Charlie Manuel wanted a centerfielder who can catch and cover ground, naming Michael Bourn as his first example.

Ruben Amaro got his manager the next best thing, and at a much cheaper price than the supposed $18 million a year Bourn wants.

The Phillies acquired 24-year-old centerfielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Vance Worley and top pitching prospect Trevor May.

The trade sent shock waves through the fanbase. “Why would we give up Worley?” “Isn’t May a good prospect?” “Who the hell is Ben Revere? Didn’t he ride a horse?”

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Phillies GM Amaro Discusses Ideal Center Fielder

The Phillies are in need of a new center fielder, and general manager Ruben Amaro is going to target the free agent market for one.

Shane Victorino was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline and John Mayberry Jr isn’t viewed as an everyday center fielder. That leaves Amaro looking for a fresh face, and preferably a right-handed hitting one at that.

“If we can get someone who would give us more balance from the right side, that would be great,” Amaro said. “That’s not necessary, but it would be helpful. We need somebody who can be a plus defender. Defense and pitching is going to win. As always, we saw it again in these playoffs, San Francisco were champions because they caught it and pitched it. Yes, I’d like to add to our offense. But we absolutely have to catch it and pitch it. We can’t lose sight of that as the basis of how we’ll be successful.”

That spells out free agent center fielder B.J. Upton. Upton is an ideal fit, mainly because Upton does a lot offensively and could provide the Phillies with some pop from the right side of the plate.

Either way, the Phillies need to improve in that department big time, and a lot of pressure is on Amaro to do just that.

Corey Seidman has more on CSN Philly.

Phillies Decided On Friday to End Third Base Experiment For Utley

NOTE: News broke yesterday, but no one from the site was available to post it until this morning.

Phillies 2B Chase Utley. (Matt Slocum/AP)

After a month — since August 29 to be exact — of fielding ground balls at the hot corner and the discussion that followed, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will not play third base in the final six games of the season for the Phillies.

The Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel simply told Utley before Friday’s 2-1 loss to Miami that they were going to not pursue the idea of Utley at third base. They both felt that the six remaining games was not enough of a sample size to evaluate Utley at that position.

“I don’t know if it’s a matter whether or not he can do it,” Amaro said. “I think it’s more a matter of practicality and what’s really best for the team overall. While having that option would be helpful, I don’t know if it’s really an option that’s going to make us necessarily better.”

Amaro also added, “”In retrospect, it would be difficult to make a real assessment in six games, to watch this guy play and say, ‘OK, we know Chase Utley is going to be an average defender and better for our team.’ That’s a very difficult thing to be able to assess. None of us are good enough scouts to be able to do that.”

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UPDATE: Halladay Will Make Next Start

Roy Halladay’s last start posed the question yesterday on whether or not he should be shut down for his final two starts of the season.

After the speculation, the Phillies will not shut down Halladay and he is in line to make his next start Thursday against Washington in the Phillies final home game. Halladay suffered spasms on Friday before his start on Saturday in which Halladay lasted less than two innings in an 8-2 loss to the Braves.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said Halladay was experiencing “tightness in his mid-to-upper back.”

“It’s taken a little bit of a toll on him,” Amaro said. “We’ll talk to the doctors today or tomorrow to see if we’re risking any injury.”

As far as an advantage to shutting down Halladay there doesn’t seem to be any. It would only add two extra weeks to a long off season in which Halladay is sure to do some extra training to prepare himself for next season.

“We’ll talk to the doctors and see if there is benefit,” Amaro said. “We haven’t made any decisions any way or another.”

Halladay suffered his worse season since 2004 with his 10-8 record and 4.40 ERA.

Utley Ready to Play Third; Needs Two Things to Happen

Phillies second baseman Chase Utley made waves in the past few weeks with his new found interest in playing third base.

But before the Phillies plan to experiment with Utley’s interest in third base in a real-game scenario, two things need to occur.

First, Utley needs to go to Charlie Manuel and say that he is 100 percent confident in his abilities to field the ball and make the throw from third base, a big step from playing second base his entire Major League career.

Second, the Phillies will need to fall out of playoff contention.

The Phillies are currently four games out of the Wild Card with 15 games to play. St. Louis is four games ahead while Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh all lie in between.

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Third Base Wide Open For Next Season

Phillies 3B Kevin Frandsen. (Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)

There is a big question mark stamped next to the third baseman’s name for the 2013 season. It’s a position that hasn’t had a consistent inhabitant since Scott Rolen was traded in 2002.

A few guys like David Bell, Pedro Feliz and Placido Polanco were supposed to be main-stays. But only Polanco managed to make an All-Star appearance.

It’s also a position that has fielded the likes of Abraham Nunez, Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms and Ty Wigginton.

The future for third base still doesn’t look bright for the Phillies. General manager Ruben Amaro already knows this, and he’s already tried addressing it at the deadline.

Philadelphia exercised the option of plucking top third base prospect Mike Olt from the Texas Rangers in a deal centered around Cliff Lee but nothing ever came to fruition for both clubs. Olt would have given the Phillies their first real third baseman since Rolen, and a prospect to be truly excited about since Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

They also were named as one of the teams interested in acquiring Padres third baseman Chase Headley.

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Cliff Lee Placed On Waivers By Philadelphia Phillies, According To Report

By Matt Brigidi
Special to TTB
Editor of TCL Flyers

According to a report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Philadelphia Phillies have placed left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee on waivers and expect him to clear on Friday afternoon making him trade eligible. 

Due to the salary commitments owed to Lee over the next few seasons (three years, $87.5 million or potentially four years, $102.5 million to be exact), he is expected to clear without any issues.

In fact, the real issue with a potential trade involving the 33-year old pitcher is that the Phillies would likely be required to eat a chunk of his salary, something the organization is reportedly not interested in doing.

Of course, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. also stated that the team had no interest in trading Lee (as recently as Thursday morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike In The Morning).

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Singleton, d’Arnaud, Gose Among Amaro’s Mistakes

Former Phillies prospect Jonathan Singleton (Astros AA) is tagged out at second by Jean Segura (Angels AA) during the Futures Game on July 8. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Hindsight is and always will be 20/20 for the viewer.

A look back at four of the biggest trades Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has made will raise two opinions: 1) Amaro pulled some seriously big names from Cleveland, Toronto and Houston; 2) Amaro also depleted the Phillies farm system so much that it ranks near the bottom of baseball currently.

Let’s cut to the point: Jonathan Singleton (23), Travis d’Arnaud (19) and Anthony Gose (38) rank in the top 50 in Baseball America’s prospect list. The Phillies have none on that list.

For a while it’s bothered me that those three names are very close to being every day Major Leaguers with the potential to be very good mainstays in the bigs. It wasn’t until Matt Gelb went to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City to watch the Phillies past and future prospects play and wrote a fantastic piece this morning that I had to at least say something about it beyond an occasional tweet.

Let’s break down Gelb’s report.

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