I don’t know if Phillies general-manger Ruben Amaro caught wind of our own Somers Price’s article this morning, which called for the Phillies to fire him sooner, rather than later, but Amaro made an unscheduled appearance on 97.5 the Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli show this afternoon.
Here are some of the highlights of Amaro’s afternoon appearance.
On trying to build off a three-game winning streak
Amaro said that this is a time where the Phillies need to “make hay”, but admitted that beating a few last place teams doesn’t necessarily make them a contender.
On the state of his regime
Amaro did remind fans that while the regime has struggled as of late, Amaro did remind fans that his initial moves (I’m assuming he was alluding to the 2009 Cliff Lee acquisition and then acquiring Roy Halladay that fall) were successful. Unfortunately for Amaro, it’s hard to get too many fans back on his side when those moves were building on a team largely constructed by Pat Gillick, and trading Lee away to Seattle upon the acquisition of Halladay, kind of watered down both of those moves.
Amaro did also say that he didn’t regret “going for it”, which I’m not sure too many people are mad at him for doing. At least initially, trying to capture a second-world title, even if it somewhat mortgaged the future, made sense. What disgusted fans about Amaro is that when they did move some players away, mainly Hunter Pence, they didn’t get any sort of return that ended up paying off for the big-league club. Amaro also didn’t seem to grasp when “going for it” went from being in the team’s best interests, to just setting the organization’s much-needed rebuild back a few years.
Amaro said that no one on the team was un-touchable, and that part of his job is to be open to listening to any moves that would make the team better. However, Amaro seemed to back Utley and Hamels as the type of players that you would like to build your club around.
While I think the organization has vastly overrated Hamels (and I thought that before it was popular), he is only 30, so you could still make the case that you could build your team around him, even if you are rebuilding. As for Utley, he is 35, and despite the fact that he might be the most loved Phillie of all-time, the idea that you could keep him here through a two or three-year rebuild and still have him be “a face of your franchise”, is foolish.
On trading Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins
Amaro continuously cited that Utley and Rollins both have ten and five rights, as if to say that no player has ever waived their ten and five rights to accept a trade to a contender.
Amaro also said that the Phillies would have to get “bowled over” to even consider trading either player. That may be a smokescreen, but knowing Amaro’s obsession with keeping the 2008 core together, I’m not sure it is.
On when the Phillies would start to consider making trades
Amaro said that the team is “prepared” and “ready to listen” on a lot of different things, and that he has already had “a lot of dialogue” with other general-managers.
While he generally gave you the impression that the talks would be about the Phillies selling off their veterans, Amaro did admit that the team needs to stay open to the idea of being buyers, should they jump back into contention.
On eating money in a trade
Amaro was very straight-forward, saying that “We’ve done that in the past, and I’m sure we’ll do it in the future”.
On Ryan Howard‘s contract and trade-value
For whatever reason, Amaro seems much more open to discussing how Howard has underperformed in his deal, than some of his other short-comings as general manager.
Amaro did discuss Howard’s injury and his reasoning behind locking up Howard a year and a half before he could become a free-agent, but his most interesting quote on Howard was saying that “there would be no trade market” for him at this stage. While that ins’t exactly breaking news, it’s still interesting to hear him say that.
You can listen to the full interview with Amaro, here.