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Report: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro willing to give three years for a new set-up man

Nov 15, 2013, 8:45 PM EDT

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted last night that the Phillies are “strongly pursuing” set-up men to pitch the eighth inning behind closer Jonathan Papelbon, namely Edward Mujica. Passan says the Phillies are believed to be willing to go up to three years for such a bullpen piece.

Though it doesn’t make sense from a logical, team construction point of view, it does make sense because it’s Ruben Amaro at the helm. The Phillies already have a set-up man in Mike Adams, who will earn $7 million in 2014, the final guaranteed year of a two-year deal signed last off-season. Adams suffered from several injuries, including hip soreness, a back strain, biceps irritation, and a season-ending tear of his labrum and rotator cuff, so perhaps the team is skeptical of his ability to be healthy and effective. However, the bullpen is also chock full of high-upside arms, including lefties Antonio Bastardo and Jake Diekman, who finished the 2013 season with a 2.32 and 2.58 ERA, respectively, along with impressive strikeout rates.

With $127.5 million committed to eight players already, before factoring in arbitration-eligible players and pre-arbs, the Phillies have a limited amount of wiggle room unless they decide to ignore the $189 million luxury tax threshold, or last season’s Opening Day payroll under $160 million — attendance has been slipping fast at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies finished 16 games under .500, so they’re more than Marlon Byrd and a set-up man away from being a realistic contender in the NL East again.

  1. aphillieated - Nov 15, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Jake Diekman is going to have a great year.

  2. andyguck - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    I agree, Jayson Diekman is going to have another monster year now that he has been informed to just throw strikes

    • liamj55 - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Jayson Diekman will buy you a case of water, if you let him.

  3. scotttheskeptic - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Am I the only who senses that respectability slips one year further away with each move Amaro makes?
    This is why today I informed the Phillies that I will not be renewing my season tix.

  4. andyreidisfat - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    @scotttheskeptic ….. Wow dude, 5 years out from the World Series title and being the best overall national league team for the better part of half a decade. Then two average seasons and your just going to give up on the team and not get tickets ?

    Philly fans really are great but man do we have some of the biggest dumbs**** in all of pro sports

    • neveraboutveracity - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      Can’t really blame anyone for surrendering their season tickets these days. Unless you are splitting a plan with several people you are going to lose money because you cannot break even on the cost. The markdown was ridiculous. Hall of Fame seats were routinely selling for $35-$45 last year.

    • paperlions - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Those teams were built by the previous regime, not Amaro. The Phillies used to have a deep farm system and a talented MLB club. Now their farm system is down (though, there it has been improving the last couple of years), and the MLB team is old, busted, and expensive. The FO is still living in the 80s, and they are still making poor decisions in FA.

  5. gibbyfan - Nov 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Really –They want Mujica ?…..problem is you don’t know which Mujica is going to show up.

  6. scotttheskeptic - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    @andyreidisfat – this is the only means I have to express my displeasure at the manner in which Amaro is destroying this team for years to come. When he is gone I will reestablish my tix.

  7. Francisco (FC) - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Report: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro willing to give three years for a new set-up man

    [reaches for the bottle…]

  8. andreweac - Nov 15, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    I’m going to miss mocking Amaro when he’s gone.

    • sportsfan18 - Nov 16, 2013 at 7:53 AM

      Well, the effects of Amaro on the Phils will last a good 2 to 3 yrs after he leaves them.

  9. phillysports1 - Nov 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Jake people . It’s jake .

  10. thesportsguru7 - Nov 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    The Phillies need much more than a setup man. The problem with their bullpen isn’t just the setup man, it’s the fact that they’re paying their closer more than 20 other teams are paying their entire bullpens! Papelbon was handed a ridiculous contract, and it will hurt this team if they can’t move him. Amaro keeps throwing money at over the hill veterans, thinking they’ll give the veteran leadership to take this team over the top. Instead of veterans they need an influx of talent instead of another 36 year old outfielder.

    Trade Papelbon…Let Diekman close…Let Adams keep the setup job, he should be healthy…Offseason priority should be getting some talent in the lineup!

    • macjacmccoy - Nov 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      People keep talking about him bringing old people in, which I agree Young and Byrd are older then most free agents, but its not there are 26 year old free agents who can play out there. Baseball is set up so that when a player finally becomes a free agents he is pretty much entering the twilight of his prime. Nearly every free agent that can make a real impact is in his early 30’s. The only way you bring in new young talent from outside the organization is if you trade for it, and no one wants him to trade away what little prospects the Phillies have left.

      So where is all that young talent he’s suppose to be able to go out and get? Its just not out there. Your only hope is to bring in guys in their low 30’s and hope you can get 3 years of strong production out of them. These guys arent dumb either they know its probably their last real contract so they force teams to sign them to 4-5 year contracts. Putting up with that extra year or 2 where they arent what they use to be is something you have to do.

      Its funny people know all this to be true but they still bust GM’s balls for giving out contracts that are 2 long for a player in their 30’s. Then on the flip side if they dont go out and get a difference maker or 2 they get tore apart for not trying to improve their team.

      So I dont know what people want Amaro to do. They want him to bring people in and make his team a contender, but then they bust his balls for paying to much and giving to long a term to an older player. Then if he does it another way and tries to bring someone in through a trade, people tear him apart of depleting his farm system. Or if he trades away some of his older players for prospects so he can either groom them to take their place or use them as trade pieces to bring in a younger established player, people tear him apart for not getting enough in return for his players or not bringing in a good enough replacement for the prospects he traded away.

      There are a ton of things I dont like about Amaro. He is still too reliant on the old way of doing things, doesnt value prospects enough, and tends to draft kids with tons of upside with little experience instead of draftee’s who have proven themselves more. But the way he goes about bringing in new players isnt one of the things I dislike about him. Yea maybe I would pick different free agents than him, but the way he goes about trying to do it I have no problem with.

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