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Ruben Amaro is not going to blow up the Phillies roster

Jun 10, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Jim Salisbury of, reporting the words of Ruben Amaro: a general manager who doesn’t seem to grasp that he has a .500 team on his hands:

“People think we’re going to blow up this team. We’re never going to be in the position of blowing up. There’s no blowing up. There might come a time when we make changes to improve for the future, but we don’t have a reason to blow it up. Boston didn’t blow it up last year. They retooled. That’s the challenge we have whether it’s July 31 or November 1.”

OK, so trading three gigantic, overpriced and aging stars is “re-tooling” now. Fine, have it your way. Don’t blow it up, Ruben. Just “re-tool.” I think a lot of people will be happy with that.

Riffs aside — read at least until Ruben talks about how Delmon Young has had success in “fits and starts” — this reads like a guy who really and truly thought everything would break exactly perfectly. Veterans returning to health and MVP-level productivity, gambles paying off, etc.  And none of it did and now he doesn’t really have a plan to deal with it.

  1. specialkindofstupid - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Yeah, I remember when Germany re-tooled the Hindenburg. That worked out okay. Wait, no, I’m thinking of the Volkswagen Beetle.

  2. flamethrower101 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    What RAJ and the Phillies are clearly in denial about is that their window has clearly closed. They had a hell of a run from ’07-’11. Five straight division titles, two pennants, and a championship are nothing to sneeze at. But with the way their roster is built, everything breaking “perfectly” as you described it may not have even resulted in a wild card berth. Now they’ll be lucky IMO to break .500.

    • derekjetersmansion - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      Actually, their window would still be open if they had a decent GM. Utley and Howard aren’t that old. Rollins is still very productive.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Howard might not be that old, but he hasn’t been an above-average player since 2009. I respect the everliving shiznit out of Chase Utley, but he hasn’t played 120 games in four years. The window is closed unless the Phillies have Dodger-level payroll capability.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Ninja, no more

    • dondada10 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      Ninja vanish.

    • anthonyverna - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      No income? No job? No assets? NINJA yes!

  4. joejaws75 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Thank you nega-Craig-adelphia

  5. evanwins - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    He has a plan – stick with it. It’s not a good plan, but it’s a plan.

    The biggest issue is Ryan Howard and unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about it. Once he signed Howard to that contract he put himself in a position where he was going to live and die with the guy and now he’s stuck. Unless this guy completely turns it around the team is sunk. NO good GM ever puts themselves in that position.

    Delmon Young obviously isn’t working out but he does nothing about it. Just get rid of him and try something else. Instead he misleads himself into thinking that there’s success there in “fits and starts”. There is not.

    And there’s no Dodgers there to help take a bunch of underperforming players who make way too much money off your hands.

    Personally, I don’t think he should blow it up. He should make smart moves that help the organization now and in the future. Unfortunately he has only shown that he knows how to make moves that make an immediate impact and hurt the future.

    • ryanrockzzz - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Signing Howard was a great move at the time. It’s a shame the Phillies won’t DL him this year since he obviously is still playing on one good leg, and is unable to generate any power because of that.

      The problem with the Phillies goes way beyond Howard. He’s been worth that contract. The team is just getting older and window is closing. That wil happen with any team, no matter is in charge sooner or later.

      It doesn’t help that “Mr. Philadelphia” Chase Utley is hurt again, and really hasn’t been a productive player for three years. Also Ruiz/Krats are on the DL, along with two members of starting rotation.

      Two things Amaro did that were very foolish include resigning Jimmy Rollins/signing Papelbon. Rollins is awful, and they would have been better served having that extra cap space to do something with. Papelbon is a closer and makes way too much money to pitch once a week. I agree he needs to start making smarter moves, but if shrewdness and player development is what we all want, than Amaro just needs to go.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        Signing Howard was a great move at the time

        Since his contract kicked in starting in ’12, Howard has put up:
        .234/.294/.429 for a .723 OPS (92 OPS+) with 21 HR in 130 games out of 226 (57% games played). That’s worth $25M a year? Does that make Miggy worth $75M+?

      • Bill Baer - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Chase Utley outproduces Ryan Howard just by taking in oxygen.

      • udhens - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

        “…extra cap space…” There is no cap in baseball.

      • evanwins - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        “Signing Howard was a great move at the time”
        Are you crazy? At the time he still had 2 years on his existing contract. At the time there was absolutely no need to extend Howards contract. In fact, the timing of that extension is the thing that bothers me the most. If he would have waited and even if Howard remained on the pace he was on, which was nearly impossible, he STILL would have been able to make the same deal ($25M a year) he did when he jumped the gun and signed the extension only having 2 more years to evaluate.

        It was not a “great move at the time” it was one of the stupidest, most unnecessary moves at the time.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        It was not a “great move at the time” it was one of the stupidest, most unnecessary moves at the time.

        My favorite part of the signing was the fans advocating that they had to sign him when they did because Pujols would be a FA at the same time. As if more of a product increases it’s value, or so their thinking went…

      • beebopthearcher - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        Not only was it a terrible move at the time, but virtually anyone who was not as die-hard Phillies fans wrote about what a terrible signing it was when it happened.

        Here’s a link to the HBT story from August of 2010 which links to a number of writers panning the deal:

        My favorite: “When the news first broke and the details started to emerge, I was
        tempted to fill this entire article with just me laughing. My co-writers
        convinced me that while an appropriate response, that was not quite
        informative enough so I have relented and will actually map out the
        value of Ryan Howard’s new extension. I’m laughing pretty hard, though, in case
        you wanted to picture it.”

  6. gothapotamus90210 - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM


    1. Utley, Halladay, M. Young and Ruiz are coming off the books after 2013. ~$27M in savings.

    2. Severe lack of quality pitching in this year’s free agent class.

    3. With $27M coming off the books, the Phillies could afford to take on most of Lee’s salary in a trade and net a hefty return.

    • evanwins - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      You don’t trade Lee. Why? Because you can’t replace him in FA. If you do trade Lee you have to be sure that you are RAPING somebody, and I mean really taking someone to the cleaners.

      With a new TV deal coming up The Phillies need to maintain an appearance of competitiveness. This goes a bit beyond normal baseball thinking. Even if they are a disaster on the field they are forced to act like a winner in keeping the stars around. The prospect of billions (BILLIONS) of dollars coming into the organization will mean that they will operate unlike any team ever has and do things that won’t make a lot of sense to anyone looking only at “baseball operations”.

      This probably means they not only don’t trade Utley but resign him as well. It only makes sense if you look at it fro a very specific angle.

      Start looking at the Phillies with the TV deal glasses on and some of their moves will make sense.

  7. 12strikes - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I think it’s more savings then that
    Halladay = $20 Mill
    Utley = $15 Mill
    Ruiz = $5mil

    • gothapotamus90210 - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      sorry, meant ~$47M

  8. drewzducks - Jun 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    • buggieowens - Jun 10, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      wow…I completely forgot that Bacon was in Animal House. Thanks for vid!

  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    My definition of “blowing up” would be getting rid of all of these players before the season ends (so not counting expiring contracts): Howard, Rollins, Utley, Lee, M Young, D Young, and Ruiz, and maybe Hamels. If that’s too dramatic of a change then perhaps what will happen by August will be “re-tooling.” Just seems a bit silly to argue semantics here.

  10. kingjoe1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Well he must be an idiot. The phillies drafted well, but it will be 4 years before they make an impact. They have little solid talent coming up, he needs to move Lee, and Palpelbon. Got got Avisail Garcia or Rondon from the tigers and put him in left. Brown and Garcia for the next 10 years, great pair to build around.

  11. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Of course, had he said he is going to “keep options open” (or somethign to that effect) about trade deadline moves, Mr. Clean would be all over him for tipping his hand, and thus weakening his bargaining power.

  12. bbk1000 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Good….good…..this guys stinks and I love it…

    A Mets Fan..

  13. thephilsabide - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Retooling….I’LL RETOOL YOU!

  14. deathmonkey41 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    He made a mistake cutting Chad Durbin. The guy was incredibly consistent. Every time he came in, he gave up 2 runs. That might be a lot coming out of the bullpen, but if they made him a starter, it would be excellent. They should have made him a starter. Idiots.

  15. thesmedman - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Let’s remember that it was Pat Gillick — an outsider GM – that shephereded the World series champion Phillies a few years ago. It’s worth noting because the Phillies have a pretty long, and sad, history of keeping people around despite productivity failings.

    You can credit Ed Wade (GM at the time and now a staffer) with hiring Manuel, but many would argue that Bowa wasn’t the problem. It was players. Gillick kind of proved that with the moves he made (and the insistence on bringing in a few of his key peeps).

    Amaro is linked to that long tradition of the Phillies, which is unfortunately now playing itself out. The only Phillies insider that might be able to do something else with this might be Dallas Green, but then again, he’s a staffer, too, although it’s unclear how much pull he’d have with a book out that has him on the cover wearing Yankees colors…

    It’s time to make some moves, starting with indicating to manuel that it’s time to retire. Put Sandberg in and hire Bowa as a bench coach. Then make some intelligent personnel moves…

    • paperlions - Jun 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      That last phrase…that seems to be the tough part.

      Arbuckle deserves a lot of credit for their run as well, he was responsible for drafting and player development.

      • thesmedman - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        That’s a very good point. i had forgotten about Arbuckle.

  16. Last Road Reviews - Jun 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    They can’t blow it up. Who will take Howard? Unless the Phillies pay the bulk nobody is gonna take him. I haven’t followed baseball as much this year. As a Mets fan I’ve gotten so fed up with ownership. But last couple of years Utley has had some injuries. I suppose he can be moved, but you aren’t getting top tier prospects. Rollins hasn’t really been the same since the MVP season. You aren’t getting top tier prospects there either.

    Perhaps Cliff Lee can be moved. Despite the year Cole is having I can see someone going for,him. But than again who knows. Nobody expected the Mets to,get such a highly touted prospect for Beltran and they got a top P prospect and C for R.A.

    But I just don’t see Howard, Utley and Rollins traded for top prospects. Only Lee and maybe Cole. Anybody else even if solid players won’t land you much. I think sitting back is the right option. Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet for,a couple of years

  17. theanswer0381 - Jun 10, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    no one said their trading 3 guys. your putting words in his mouth. utley doesnt have to go. they just need to add some pieces to go along with what they have

    • paperlions - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Yes, but they don’t have anything to trade to get those pieces….and besides Brown and Hamels, the guys they’ve got are past their prime.

  18. schmedley69 - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    I hate Amaro as much as any Phillies fan, but he’s right on this. Blowing it up means you trade anyone not named Dom Brown for whatever you can get, which will be close to nothing. Do that, and you will go from a mediocre team to a horrible team like the Mets, Marlins and Astros, with absolutely no hope. Once you go down that path, there’s no telling when and if you ever come back. Being really bad has a tendency to snowball on itself.

    Instead of blowing it up, I say try to be competitive as you can be while still looking forward. Listen to offers for Cliff Lee, but only trade him if you are blown away. Don’t trade him for the garbage that he has been traded for 3 times already. Jesse Biddle is a great pitching prospect and he could be ready as soon as next year. The Phillies have some nice prospects in A ball who could be ready in a few years (Franco, Dugan, Perkins, Altherr). Keep your good players like Lee, Hamels and Brown, and try to replace you’re really bad players (like Delmon Young and Ben Revere) with better players and see what happens. The NL East is not good. There are no dominant teams. A lot of money is coming off the books after this season. Use it to upgrade. The Phillies are in line for a huge new TV deal with a rumored bidding war between Fox and Comcast. The last thing they want to do is blow it up.

  19. garryjercia - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Yeah, the Nats are tearing it up.

    It’s not over yet troll.

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