A few tidbits from Amaro's daily briefing with the media, his last of the winter meetings.
--The Phils will pick 26th in tomorrow morning's Rule 5 draft. The front office will rush out of town shortly thereafter.
--The Ross Gload signing is still not official, but Amaro said that his work retooling the bench was likely done (reading between the lines, Gload still needs to take and pass his physical before the team can comment). "He's got some versatility, because he can play the corner outfield positions, and he can play first base," the GM said of Gload. "He's a very good first baseman, and a good lefthanded pinch-hitter."
--Asked if there was any way possible he would get involved in a trade for a superstar starter (meaning Roy Halladay), he said: "Is there any way possible? I guess there is. Is there a likelihood that we'll get involved on anything that big? Probably not?"
"I'm not going to get into the reasons."
Nevertheless, several major league executives expect the Phillies to be players for Halladay. This storyline has the potential to drag deep into the offseason.
--Amaro is still trolling for pitchers, more so for free agents than trades. While not ruling out finishing a deal before leaving Indy, Amaro said it was not likely. "Haven't got to the finish line yet, but we're making some headway."
--Still no movement in negotiations with Chan Ho Park and Scott Eyre. "There is a possibility that we'll move past them at some point if we don't get something done," Amaro said.
Is that point approaching?
"I couldn't tell you."
Well, you could. It's just that you choose not to.
The Phillies met this morning with Keith Grunewald, who represents John Smoltz. The two sides have maintained contact regarding the veteran, but the team has not made an offer at this stage. Grunewald said that Smoltz has drawn interested from teams as a starter, late-inning reliever, and a hybrid of both (the Phils have needs in the back end of their rotation and bullpen). The pitcher is open to all those possibilities, and will weigh his options after completing this information-gathering phase of his process.
Good morning from the last full day of the winter meetings. The party breaks up after the Rule 5 draft early tomorrow.
The Phillies continue to explore ways to improve their pitching staff. According to a source, the Phils and lefthander Ron Mahay have expressed some mutual interest, though talks are only in the preliminary phase. As with all these names that surface, this does not mean that Mahay is likely to be a Phillie, but it does fill in some blanks created by Amaro’s general statements about “discussions regarding number of pitchers.”
Mahay, 37, is a lefthander who posted a 4.29 earned run average with Kansas City and Minnesota last year. The team could view him as a possible alternative to Scott Eyre, if that lefty does not reduce his asking price.
As we've been doing all week, we'll update as we learn things...