Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is in the same difficult situation as many of his counterparts in baseball, not knowing whether to buy or to sell by the July 31 trade deadline.
The Phillies entered the weekend 6.5 games out of first place in the National League East and 5.5 games out of wild card spot with 98 games remaining.
Amaro was encouraged by the three-game sweep over San Diego, but he understands it will take more to convince him that the Phillies are contending than defeating a Padres team that entered the weekend with the third worst record in baseball.
Buy or sell?
“We think about it every day,” Amaro said while talking to reporters before Friday’s game with the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park.
So the Phillies scouts have been told to look at things from both sides, if the Phillies are buying or selling.
“We’re making sure we know which players we like the most in certain organizations and preparing for that,” Amaro said. “At the same time we’re continuing to assess what our needs are. If we have to go through the transition, we’re preparing and evaluating what our needs are.”
When asked if teams like the players the Phillies have on their roster, Amaro didn’t hesitate.
“As yes, wouldn’t you? He asked. “We have some pretty good players.”
Two of those players, second basemen Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins have 10-and-5 rights and can’t be traded without their permission. Anyone with 10 years of service time, of which at least the last five were spent with the same team, earns the right to veto any trade.
Amaro is frequently asked about whether he would deal his double play combination but says it is hard to speculate about it due to their 10-and-5 rights
“If someone comes and says we would like to have Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley or whatever player out there, I have to do my job and listen, explore,” Amaro said. “But the reality of it is it could all be a waste of time because they might not want to go anywhere, and at that time we might not want them to go anywhere either.”
So Amaro is keeping an open mind on everybody.
I can’t say there are any untouchables,” he said. “…Some guys are less touchable than others so to speak.”