UPDATE: Ruben Amaro Offers Supremely Smug Statement on Cole Hamels Reports
Speaking to Ken Rosenthal, Ruben Amaro offered a few comments on reports that he is shopping ONE OF THE GREATEST PHILLIES HOMEGROWN STARS OF ALL-TIME (I’m yelling). He didn't deny it: [FOX Sports]
“Our goal is the same as it has been from the beginning,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday. “To sign him and keep him long-term in a Phillies uniform.”
“I do not ever discuss the information that is out there, nor those rumors or speculations.”
“This is the time of year where things will be out there. It is the nature of our sport and a product of the time of year.”
It’s really this simple: Regardless of whether there is a trade, Amaro should be fired if he doesn’t sign Cole Hamels this offseason. There’s no excuse for having that much money and not being able to re-sign a guy who grew up and won a World Series with the franchise.
Some may say that, because of the Phillies’ bleak short and long-term outlook, Cole won’t want to sign here even if the Phils could match other offers. That’s fair. But again, it goes back to the money point: There’s no excuse for having that much money and not being able to field a team that entices your 28-year-old star pitcher – who loves it here – to stay.
In both cases (money or Cole wanting to play for a winner), it’s Ruben’s fault. If saying that means we have to admit signing then-32-year-old Cliff Lee was a reckless act better reserved for a video game than real life, then so be it. But there’s no way the Phillies should even be at this point with Hamels. None. The Phillies knew for at least two years that he was due a big payday, and they ignored it. They signed Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins and Jonathan Papelbon, when all along, whether we wanted to admit it or not, Hamels was the most important player for the future of the franchise.
UPDATE: Shortly after speaking to Rosenthal, it seems, Amaro talked to Matt Gelb: [Philly.com]
"These aren't things we discuss or talk about in front of other people," Amaro said, "but our goals are always the same. Our goal is to try to continue to contend this year, to try to win the National League East. If we can't do that, we want to be a playoff club.
"Our other goal, frankly, is to keep Hamels in our uniform, short term and long term."
Amaro was asked if he believes re-signing Hamels is still realistic. "I do," he said.
"I have no indication to think otherwise, that's why," Amaro said.
Gelb added that Amaro and Hamels' agent have hardly spoken.