With the signing of Jose Contreras, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. achieved two goals he had left in his busy off-season: starting rotation and bullpen depth.
And now, the Phillies are likely done making moves as the team prepares for spring training.
"It’s a possibility," Amaro said of another move. "At some point you gotta get to the point where you just see what you got. We’re probably as close to that stage as we’ve been all off-season. While I guess we’re not necessarily satisfied with where we are — I don’t think we’re ever satisfied — we are comfortable going into the spring with what we’ve got and let things play out."
The Phillies' payroll is hovering a little above $138 million at this point and contracts still need to be signed with J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick and Ben Francisco.
Contreras signed for $1.5 million and Amaro said the team will use him as a starter early in spring training. The intent is to eventually put Contreras in the bullpen, but should Kendrick struggle and Moyer's injuries linger, Amaro did not rule out the possibility of Contreras starting.
"This is a player who has already told us he’ll do whatever is best for the club, so if there’s a need in the rotation, then perhaps that’s the way to go," Amaro said. "If we see progress in both Kendrick and Jamie, then we’ll move him back to the bullpen so we can get some depth back there."
Contreras said he would prefer to start if he had his choice but understands that as a 38-year-old pitcher, a move to the bullpen could prolong his career. Read more in Friday's Inquirer about Contreras' decision to join the Phillies.
Closer Brad Lidge began throwing three or four days ago, Amaro said. And lefty J.C. Romero began his throwing program on Jan. 17, he said.
So far, so good," Amaro said. "No news is good news on those guys."
Amaro said he has not had a recent update on Moyer.
"He feels he is going to be ready to go opening day," Amaro said. "That’s a good sign. Our doctors probably think that might be a little aggressive, but we don’t know how he’s going to recover from the knee and the residual effects of the groin."