Phils in no hurry to trade Hamels or Papelbon
Veteran pitchers are in demand, but the offers have not persuaded Amaro
ST. LOUIS -- Ruben Amaro Jr.'s cell phone rings and buzzes pretty much constantly, but the calls and texts have picked up lately.
The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright for the season. The Dodgers lost Brandon McCarthy. The Red Sox rotation has a 6.03 ERA, which is the worst in baseball. The Blue Jays have a 5.37 ERA, which is 27th in baseball. There are other teams with rotation problems, too. Just like there are teams with bullpen problems.
But the Phillies have no plans to rush to trade Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. Why hurry now? The Phillies already have waited this long to trade their remaining veterans because they said they have not liked the deals proposed to them. So they will take their chances that Hamels and Papelbon continue to perform and stay healthy, while other teams become more desperate to fill the voids on their roster.
"What people don't understand is nobody is holding a gun to our head to trade a player," Amaro said Wednesday. "Typically, if a team wants a player they typically will try to go get that player. If you really wanted to make a trade with the Phillies or any other club you would be the aggressor."
But that does not mean Amaro is not talking to teams about his players. He is.
"We have continued dialogue with a lot of clubs on several fronts," he said.
Many have criticized the Phillies for not trading Hamels, Papelbon or others before they potentially suffer an injury.
Amaro sees that as flawed logic.
"The reality is this: There are a lot more chances for the 29 other teams to get people hurt than the one or two guys that we have," he said. "That's basic math."
The Phillies also have been criticized for not considering other players if an organization's top prospects are deemed untouchable. Amaro sounds like somebody willing to wait for what he considers to be the right deal.
"Yeah, we don't want any good players," Amaro said sarcastically. "I have no mandate to trade players. These are not financial deals. These are baseball deals. That's the beauty of the flexibility our ownership group is giving us. This is really about doing baseball deals. We don't have to move money."
In fact, Amaro reiterated something he has said several times over the past year: The Phillies would consider paying some of a player's salary to acquire the talent they like.
"We haven't changed any of our thought process as far as our open-mindedness with our club," he said.