Phillies GM Ruben Amaro joined Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio on Thursday, part of a carwash of interviews over the past 48 hours following the trade deadline.
After the trades of Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, Amaro is left answering questions about the future of the franchise. Amaro also joined Mike Missanelli of 97.5 the Fanatic on Wednesday and said he thinks they now have plenty of room to maneuver for 2013.
“We’ve added some talent to our system in case we have to do it via trade, and we’ve also created a situation where we have some financial flexibility to go out and sign a player or two, or maybe even three or four.”
Many expected Victorino to get dealt, but Amaro felt the need to cash in on Pence, too.
“His value on the marketplace is much, much higher rather than having him for one year, $15 million. Control has a lot to do with it. A lot of teams are anxious to improve their club that they make their run for a possible playoff spot. Frankly, the value of the player is much greater in this situation than it would be if we waited til the end of the season.”
With Mike and Mike, Amaro reiterated that the Phillies never had serious discussions to trade Cliff Lee.
“We told him (Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker), all this stuff that you’re hearing is really false and faulty. I think he (Lee) had a pretty decent peace of mind about what our direction was.”
Amaro seems to believe that Lee, teamed with Hamels and Halladay are the key to the Phillies being a contender in 2013. There also seems to be a little bit of breathing room to make other moves to fill the numerous holes all over the diamond. Adding multiple $15 million players seems unlikely, but there is a clear need in the bullpen and the outfield. Third base is another glaring weakness, but will be harder to fill because it’s so thin all over the majors.