November 14 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The final destination for the free-agent rightfielder is the primary focus of Phillies fans right now.
We don’t really know where the Jayson Werth issue ranks on Ruben Amaro Jr.’s list of things to do or how much money he has to do it, but we can safely assume it’s at least a notch above returning phone calls from outsiders trying to find out the inside agenda at One Citizens Bank Way.
Amaro will head to the general managers’ meetings Monday in Orlando with that information held tight to his chest. He admitted that sometimes trade talks don’t start to develop until these meetings with his GM peers.
“There have been times where I thought there would be a great trade environment and nothing happened,” Amaro said. “There have been other times when I did not think anything would happen and there were a lot of trades. You never know until you are face to face.”
The one thing Amaro admitted is that he wants some relief help before the Phillies convene in Clearwater for the start of spring training. There’s every reason to believe the Phillies will get the bullpen arms they need, and whatever lefthanded relief arm they get will likely be an upgrade over J.C. Romero, whose lack of command last season evoked little faith from manager Charlie Manuel.
An area Amaro should not overlook is starting pitching. Yes, the Phillies will have three of the best starting pitchers in baseball again next season with the return of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels.
“I think we’re pretty pleased with our rotation and with how it performed through the year,” Amaro said after his team was eliminated by San Francisco in the National League Championship Series. “When we acquired [Oswalt], we did some pretty extraordinary things when it came to wins and losses. There is no question having those three guys in the rotation had great impact.”
There is no question about that. There are questions, however, about the two pitchers who filled out the rotation. Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick, regardless of how anybody wants to spin it, were not good enough. Blanton, with two years and $17 million left on the ill-advised contract the Phillies gave him last off-season, is untradeable.”
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