Philles GM Ruben Amaro was a guest yesterday on MLB Network Radio with host Jim Duquette. With Chase Utley's patellar tendinitis, Dom Brown's hand injury, and Brad Lidge's own version of tendinitis, it was no surprise when Duquette asked Rube about any upgrades the team was looking to make during the final stretches of spring training.
This time, possibly more than ever, Amaro made it clear that there is nothin' doin'. David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News was able to get his hands on a transcript of the conversation between the two.
DUQUETTE: “This is the time of the spring when you’re starting to look at possibly bolstering your bullpen or your bench or whatever it might be, but from your stand point, is there room financially to make a bigger deal if it presented itself?”
DUQUETTE: “Not at all?”
AMARO: “No, there isn’t. Anything else you want to ask me?” (laughs) I don’t know how many times I can say that publicly. I have no money to play with. Our payroll is going to be over $160 million or so and I’m tapped out, my friend. Maxed out.”
DUQUETTE: “We were hoping for you, but alright, we got you, we’ll stop asking the question.”
AMARO: “And those rumors you’re hearing about third basemen and acquiring [a] second baseman and third baseman? All b.s., my friend. Just so you know.”
Wow. He even took the extra step at the end there to make it clear that the Phils won't be going after Michael Young.
The variable that can't be ignored is that we've heard this all before. "We're probably done" and "that ship has sailed" mean relatively nothing because… well… if they did, Cliff Lee wouldn't be here. Neither would Roy Oswalt.
But this time, it does feel a little bit different. The team is already overextended on payroll, and when the piggy bank is empty, folks… it's empty…
…unless it's not, of course. You never know what this front office is capable of anymore. But if I had to guess, I would say Amaro isn't kidding this time. So it's time to stop concerning yourself with what more this team can do off the field.
Frankly, I'm more worried about the Phillies that can't stay on it. And so are you.