Ruben Amaro was on the WIP Morning Show today and he actually gave some insight into the Phillies’ offseason plans… without saying a whole lot of anything.
On Ben Revere: Rube said Sandy Alomar Jr. in Cleveland thanked him for getting the pain in the ass out of their division. “Pain in the ass” is perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay a speedy center fielder. There were years earlier in this millennium (that’s fun to write, and I like writing fun things) when I wanted to kill Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo for being those sorts of players.
“Did we overpay for the guy? I don’t know, maybe we did. But we felt like this is a very specific need. And I guess the philosophy is, if we are going to give up a fourth or fifth starter to get an everyday player in the Major Leagues, particularly at a premium position, then I would do it every time.”
On Josh Hamilton: “To have power on the club, there’s an overpayment that’s drastic. There aren’t very many guys out there other than B.J. Upton and Josh Hamilton, really, who have power. And you’re talking about going to stratospheres economically that I don’t know are the right thing for us to do. In Hamilton’s case, he’s the best player out there, there’s no question. But the commitment to bring him here may not be right for us. And that’s the issue.”
“The only thing I can tell you right now is were trying to piece together a couple more of those needs (power, third base, setup man), and the other piece on that is that I’d like to go shorter on contracts rather than longer.”
My take: Amaro brought Hamilton’s name up first, which isn’t a great sign – since Rube prefers to hunt by lying in the weeds, waiting, watching, showing off his manhood – but then he talked about how Hamilton was the only true impact player out there and how he’s willing to overspend for guys like that. Since the Mariners are in talks with Hamilton for a three-year, $75 million deal (reportedly), you can take a little leap to the conclusion that the Phillies would absolutely be players for Hamilton. Rube made it clear they want to add a run producer, and if the Mariners are the only real competition for perhaps the best run producer in baseball, then it’s silly to think that the Phillies aren’t very seriously trying to get Hamilton, and doing it in a way that fulfills the predatory instincts of the Big Poker.
On the market: “It was a scary market from the beginning because we didn’t feel like it was a very strong market, and yet there was the sense all of a sudden there was the influx of money (from TV contracts). So that’s a bad combo platter for the industry as far as how the markets are going to shift. And it shifted. You either got to play in it or you try to be creative and work around it, which is what were trying to do on a couple different fronts.”
I could listen to Rube talk about markets for hours and hours. Combo platter? Yes, I’ll have that, with a side of soup, Rube. This, from the guy who flings pools of cash onto negotiating tables with his massive manhood. Of course, in retrospect, the total dollars given to Halladay, Lee, Hamels and, yes, Howard are not out of line with the market.
On trading Cliff Lee: Amaro said he never considered trading Lee, because if the Phillies have a chance of winning the World Series next year, Amaro says, it’s with the Big 3. He added that if there’s one guy who can reinvent himself after losing some stuff, it’s Roy Halladay, who will start throwing off a mound this month.
Rube also talked about why he’s really the only accessible GM in the town– said he grew up here, understands that fans are nuts and want to be involved in process, respects that… while saying almost nothing of use.
Tell me lies, Rube. Tell me sweet little lies.
Audio after the jump.