Ruben Amaro Is Insane

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This is amazing to me. Ruben Amaro is either insane, really dumb, or trolling us, because I am at a complete loss after reading this scathing piece from Jayson Stark.

You probably missed this yesterday as another one of our local GMs was taking a torch to the future, but Stark pushed Amaro hard on whether Cliff Lee’s recent setback (and potentially career-ending issue) serves as a cautionary tale and should move the Phillies to change their stance and TRADE COLE HAMELS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HE’S THE ONLY TRULY VALUABLE PLAYER THEY HAVE LEFT! Amaro… doesn’t see it that way:

“Nope,” Amaro told this ESPN.com correspondent, quite succinctly. “Why would it change? No reason to change it.

“I don’t know what our ‘stance’ on Cole is,” the GM went on, showing sincere affection for the portrayal of that “stance” in the mass media. “Others have ‘stances,’ I guess, for us. I guess other people must think we have a ‘stance.’ Our ‘stance’ is that we’re open-minded. And that hasn’t changed one bit.”

But our entertaining banter on this subject was far from over.

“Is there a lesson in what happened with Cliff that would apply to Cole?” I asked.

“No,” Amaro replied. “I don’t know what lesson could be learned.”

“Isn’t the lesson that pitchers have a chance to get hurt, even if they have a history of durability?” I suggested, helpfully.

“There’s no lesson there,” Amaro said. “Everybody knows that. It’s apples and oranges. We have a guy who was actually hurt last year. We don’t have a player who’s hurt in Cole. … There’s no lesson learned from Lee’s situation because it’s a totally different situation. One guy is hurt. The other guy is completely healthy.”

The GM was on a roll now. So he jumped in to add more outside perspective, without being prompted.

“Is there a lesson learned from Yu Darvish?” he asked. “All pitchers can get hurt. All players can get hurt. It can happen any time. That has nothing to do with the way we go about our business, [by] planning for a player to get hurt. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Holy cow. I’ve had arguments with toddlers who were more reasonable. Amaro has absolutely no self-awareness. The Phillies are in a precarious spot. They waited entire too long to begin their rebuild and now they’re left with one and a half trade pieces (Hamels and one of Papelbon’s personalities). Anyone who even walked by an economics class in high school knows that you SELL HIGH. Trading Hamels is the one chance the Phillies have left to recoup some value from this aging mess of an organization. Please don’t mess it up.

There’s more of Ruben’s insanity here.

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17 Responses

  1. I think Amaro is an idiot, but he’s 100% right here. There’s no reason to accept an inferior package for Hamels. Selling now would not be selling high at all. Any of the rumored deals I’ve heard are well under fair value for Cole. Teams will be more desperate at the trade deadline and it’s not the last year of his contract so his value isn’t depressed by being a 2 month rental. The idea that Cole will get hurt because Lee got hurt is just silly.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. At this point there is no reason to just trade Hamels now for any subpar deal out there. There is always a risk in injury but Hamels is a few years younger and isn’t coming off an injury in the prior season.

      Now if Rube doesn’t unload him at the deadline, I will murder him myself.

      1. When trading any player in any sport who has a long-term contract regardless of age, it is better to sell sooner than later. When a player signs a long-term deal you have to weigh the good with the bad. The good is the obvious, that you’re signing a player at the peak of his abilities and you’re locking him up. The bad is that towards the end of the contract (even if he is never injured) there WILL be a decline in his production, but he’ll still be getting paid the same.

        Thus, the sooner you trade a player on such a deal the more attractive said player looks because the new team will be getting more of his “good”years. They’ll be more willing to take the risk if there they can maximize the reward.

        Need an example? Mike Richards. As much as Paul Holmgren has been vilified for trading away the face of his franchise Dean Lombardi in LA literally cannot give him away right now. Granted, hockey has a salary-cap and baseball does not, but money is still money and assets are still assets.

        That being said, I think pressure on Amaro to trade him now does nothing. Last summer was the time to sell and he missed the window. Hopefully Hamels is still keeping his ERA down this summer and Rube can get something good, but any offers will inevitable be less than last year.

        He keeps waiting for a play-off team who is desperate for a pitcher due to an injury of their own to make an offer that will blow his socks off, but what he doesn’t realize is that the only GM in the majors who would mortgage the future of their team that way for one playoff run is Ruben Amaro himself. We’re screwed

    2. I think you guys don’t understand baseball economics or something. Hamels is signed through 2018 with an option for 2019. Due to his NTC status there’s a good to great chance he could demand that 2019 option be picked up by the team who wants him. He could be 36 by the end of this contract, if he lasts that long. That’s old for a pitcher. Trading for a pitcher who is getting 23 million dollars for the next 5 years is kinda like signing a FA pitcher. You shouldn’t be wowed by trade offers in the case of Hamels. It’s like salary relief to the Phillies as well as a way to pick up younger players, but don’t expect anyone to give away the farm to get Hamels. He’s like the 9th highest paid pitcher in baseball as he sits and was somewhere around 18th best last season by WAR. He needs to get gone before he’s hurt and this window is closed, like the case of Cliff Lee.

      1. But if he’s not even going to bring back one top 10 or top 20 prospect (and there’s been no reported offer than includes any such player, with the Red Sox refusing to include Swihart) then it’s not worth it to move him. The package you get back is likely to not have any players who will ever make a major league impact (especially if RAJ is the one making the deal). So what’s the point in moving him?

        You seem to be saying “move him now for nothing because if he gets hurt in the future you won’t be able to move and you’ll get nothing.” That makes no sense.

        Might as well keep the player who you know will produce for your team for at least a year or two before getting hurt, rather than make a trade for player(s) that will likely never produce for you.

        At this point, with his contract, the rest of baseball is pretty much telling you Cole Hamels isn’t a good trade piece, unless they get him for nothing. So he has more value on the Phillies than he does through a trade. You take the risk that he does make it to age 34-36 healthy and producing so that he can help you when you aim to be contending again.

        1. It’s more like “move him now for what you can get, before it’s too late.” Why would a team trade a top prospect for Hamels while guys like James Sheilds are signing for less $ and less years? Just because Hamels is valuable and worth his contract? There are better deals to be made (more team friendly) believe it or not. Also, by the time the Phillies contend again, Hamels is going to be retired or very close to it. Sad truth.

          1. But “take what you can get” is not anywhere near what Hamels is worth to the Phillies. He’ll sell tickets. He’ll win you some games. Why trade that for Phillipe Aumont and other pieces that won’t even come close to Aumont is? How does that benefit the Phillies in any way? (Other than freeing up money that they can use to go out and sign players… that you would hope would produce as much as Hamels… see how that logic doesn’t make sense? You already have that guy, his name is Hamels)

            And Shields is a bad comparison. Hamels vs the top 3 free agent pitchers this year:

            Hamels: 31 years old, 15.8 WAR last 3 seasons, 3.27 career ERA, 1.14 career WHIP, $22.7M through 2018 (2019 option)

            Shields: 33 years old, 10.1 WAR last 3 seasons (2/3 what Hamels has), 3.72 career ERA, 1.22 career WHIP. All factors pointing to Hamels being a much better pitcher and should be getting more years and money. Shields is making under $4M less per year through 2018. I’d much rather have Hamels, given Shields’ age, comparable contract and inferior numbers.

            Lester: 31 years old, 8.3 WAR last 3 seasons, 3.58 career ERA, 1.28 career WHIP. Same age as Hamels, worse production recently and throughout his career, signed through 2020 at $25.8M per year. Longer term, more money than Hamels.

            Scherzer: 30 years old, 16.9 WAR last 3 seasons, 3.58 career ERA, 1.22 career WHIP

            You could MAYBE argue Scherzer is the better pitcher, and he just got 7 years (through 2021) at $30M per (that crazy deferment not withstanding). He got a way bigger contract than Hamels. And contract amounts don’t go down, they always go up. So Hamels’ contract will look better (if you don’t get one of those top prospects at this year’s deadline) than similar players next offseason, and the one after, etc.

  2. Holy cow. I’ve had arguments with toddlers who were more reasonable.

    “Take your fingers out of your ears, Jimmy! You need to listen to me. This is important! Yea, I know Jimmy, you hit spell check, but the typo is the 3rd word of a headline. Look, right there, “Mike Schmidt Days”!”

    “I made tinkle.”

  3. If/When I move away from Eastern PA…I will start liking new teams….

    Except the Sixers…In Hinkie I trust!

  4. The most frightening thing is Ruben has a degree from Stanford, not exactly a school for dummies. Yet he seems to lack the basic concepts of money management and risk.

  5. kyle is correct…you trade pitchers when you are rebuilding… when you can because once they get hurt they are worthless…these high priced pitchers are albatrosses…..
    rube is boob….we all know it…..lets expect nothing but nonsense from the ivy league fool

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