“If the Phillies land another top-shelf starting pitcher for the playoff push — Cliff Lee, even — it might cost them Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, a top minor league prospect or any combination of the three.
Making no bones about his persistent desire to bolster his staff of arms, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. cautioned Tuesday not to rule out any trade scenario.
He said he’d be willing to deal someone from his big league roster if the trade improved the team’s overall attempt to clinch its third consecutive National League pennant.
“Obviously, I don’t want to weaken my club,” he said from inside the Citizens Bank Park home dugout before Tuesday’s game against the Braves. “But if I have to weaken one area to strengthen another, then I might do that.”
As the July 31 trade deadline nears, Amaro is waiting to see how his current roster shapes up.
One-half of his starting infield is shelved by injuries, but third baseman Placido Polanco should return before the end of the month from his left triceps tendinitis and second baseman Chase Utley is expected to make it back by September after tearing a thumb ligament.
If he makes a move, Amaro said he’s more likely to address pitching, especially after Tuesday’s revelation that left-hander J.A. Happ, who struggled during his rehab assignment, was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
The bullpen is also besieged by injuries, with righty Chad Durbin and lefty Antonio Bastardo taking their turns riding the disabled-list carousel, although setup man Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and will likely be activated today.”
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