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Phillies GM Ruben Amaro will let 10-game homestand define team’s fate

Jul 5, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

In a column posted earlier, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly wrote about Phillies GM Ruben Amaro using his team’s ten-game homestand leading into the All-Star break as the defining factor in the team’s “buyer” or “seller” status. After tonight’s opener, a victory against the Braves, they stand at 42-45, 7.5 games behind the first place Braves.

“This homestand is very important,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before Friday night’s game. “We’ve got to play well to stay in contention, clearly. I think we’ll know a lot more about this team after this homestand.”

Could the makeup of the team change if the Phillies don’t have a good homestand?

“It could,” Amaro admitted. “It could. I hope we’re adding to this club rather than subtracting. That’s the goal, but as I always say and I’ve been saying, the players will dictate it.

“These next 10 days are big.”

The team’s biggest trade chips are second baseman Chase Utley (a free agent after the season) and starter Cliff Lee. Both have limited no-trade clauses and would have to waive them before moving to certain teams. Catcher Carlos Ruiz, third baseman Michael Young, outfielder Delmon Young, and starter Roy Halladay will become free agents after the season, making at least the first three attractive to contending teams in search of a second-half upgrade.

The Phillies’ Minor League system has enjoyed big seasons from pitcher Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco. Along with recent first round draft pick J.P. Crawford, their system is in better shape now than it was to start the season. Still, the Phillies could use some more young, projectable talent as it enters a transition phase, an issue easily resolved over the next three and a half weeks.

  1. socalskinsfan21 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    SELL, SELL, SELL!!!!!!!

  2. randygnyc - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    The Yankees could use Ruiz and Lee.

    • pisano - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      eff Lee, he’d be another AJ Burnett in NY, he couldn’t take the heat, let him rot in Philly, besides the Yankees have plenty of young pitchers under low contracts, no more of these long high dollar contracts, we’ve seen how they turn out. Ruiz would be nice though.

  3. acdc84 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I don’t know what they have to offer in a trade at this point but its hard to imagine the Dodgers not showing interest in Utley. After all, their current 2B is Mark Ellis, and while he has been a nice player he doesn’t fit in the “making at least eight figures per year” club they’re committed to.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 6, 2013 at 5:58 AM

      If they signed Utley they’d have the following collection of overpaid utility players: Mark Ellis, Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston Jr. That’s like Tony LaRussa’s wet dream of a bench – 2 righties, a leftie and a switchie – plus between them they play every position except pitcher and catcher.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    “That’s the goal, but as I always say and I’ve been saying, the players will dictate it.”


    The blame is on the players. Not the guy who put together the collection of players.

    • flamethrower101 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      So if you give a player who is already showing signs of decline a 5 yr/$125M contract and they *gasp* fail to live up to it due to injuries or other factors, it’s their fault? News to me.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        The funny thing is….Delmon Young is actually RBI-ing at the same pace as last year.

        So….you know….nailed that one.

  5. greymares - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    If your going to have a baseball team next year it would be wise to have Utley and Lee on it. If you want to move the Youngs or Ruiz (catching is the deepest position in the farm system). they have no trade chips to obtain the blue chip prospects so they have to keep pitching and there is nothing wrong with a .280 hitting 2nd baseman with a little pop and a good team inflence

    • gothapotamus90210 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      If you’re referring to Tommy Joseph, he’s been pretty terrible in the minors this season and has been slowed by a concussion.

      Valle is doing pretty terrible in AA as well.

      • greymares - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Joseph is dealing with a severe concussion problem with a touch of Ego. For me the catcher of the future is Cameron Rupp.

    • baseballisboring - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:00 AM

      Lee is the trade chip that might bring them a blue chipper, even with his contract. I think it would be wise for them to sell off everything that isn’t bolted down, start from scratch, accept that they had a great 5-6 year run and that it isn’t gonna happen overnight. That’s the price of going all in for a while.

  6. artthoumad - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Is someone really going to go after Halladay?

  7. Stiller43 - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    Why dont you (HBT) delete/block these obvious spammers?

    • abaird2012 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Yeah, get them out of here. They piss everybody off.

  8. pa9erfan - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    hey ruin t., just let the guys play and stay out of the news!!!

  9. strk3 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    RAJ didn’t say this 10 game home stand will define his team’s fate. He said it could. I suspect they’ll go somewhere around .500 and we’ll see some minor moves at most. Nice reporting, though.

  10. richiethek - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Granted he’s blown a couple of saves recently, but since when is Papelbon not a big trade chip? Particularly for teams like Detroit or Boston. Our middling team doesn’t need him and we’d be better off without his salary on our books.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      A great closer is a total waste of money except if you have a playoff team. (Papelbon was similarly useless to the 2011 Red Sox in September.)

      Honestly, it’s not that easy to blow the whole thing up and start over. Because of the current rules regarding (lack of) compensation for free agents who flee, Chase Utley just isn’t going to fetch much in a trade. Look at what happened when the Red Sox traded Kevin Youkilis last year. He was traded about this time of year for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart (i.e., nothing; no offense to their families).

      Granted, Youkilis was not an especially useful player at that point, but teams that are buying at the trade deadline tend to be optimistic (“if he can return to form … since the injury is healed …”). I think the Phillies should absolutely be unloading everything that isn’t coming back next year, but don’t expect to get much in return.

      And as much as I’d love to see Cliff Lee wind up in Boston, I don’t think I’d ever trade a guy that good. The 2000 Red Sox were competitive with only Pedro, Nomar, and assorted extras. A guy like Lee can almost turn a team into a contender by himself.

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