Major league general managers rarely have any down time, but Ruben Amaro Jr. has been probably been as busy as any of his peers in the last few weeks.
With his team holding the seventh overall pick in the MLB draft, Amaro was heavily involved in the process of dwindling down the list of potential fits fro the Phillies. With his team falling fast in the National League standings, Amaro was making sure all of his top lieutenants were in all of the right places to scope out the landscape for potential trades.
For the first time in more than week, Amaro emerged from his near never-ending series of meetings to discuss the current state of the Phillies. The majority of questions were centered around what Amaro might do prior to the trade deadline, which is less than 7 weeks away.
Q: Are you sort of on a tightrope here, with where we’re at in season, how team is playing, in terms of making decision to rebuild or not?
Amaro: We think about it every day. We access is every day, and we’re preparing for how to do those things. It’s not like we’re not preparing. If we have to go backwards to go forward, then we’re prepared to do that, too.
Q: How are you preparing?
Amaro: We have our scouts - Mike Ondo and Charley Kerfeld and all the guys, Bart Braun, they’ll be out seeing as many teams as possible. We’re making sure we know which players we like the most in certain organizations and preparing for that. 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.
Q: No one running away from this division make it tough?
Amaro: There’s not any teams out there with warts. These next several weeks are important to us because we’ll find out a lot more with where we stand. And not just evaluating the rest of the league and our club. But evaluating the possibilities we have.
Q: Magic number or date?
Amaro. No. I don’t think so.
Q: Do the contracts you have make things more difficult when it comes to trades?
Amaro: Not that much, because we’ve taken money back on deals before, so we’ll do it again if we have to.
Q: Do people like your players?
Amaro: Yes. Wouldn’t you? We have some pretty good players.
Q: Can Cliff Lee get back in time to be a piece?
Amaro: I think so. Cliff threw again today and it went well, which is good. Hopefully he can start going in a straight line.
Q: Untouchables on your roster?
Amaro: I can’t say there are any untouchables. Some guys are less touchable than others.
Q: Difficult to see you guys not being a seller?
Amaro: We have to see what happens over the next couple of weeks. We have Asche coming back, waiting on Cliff, our bullpen is starting to do something, you’re seeing some of that growth finally. What’s my confidence level? I believe in our players. But if they keep playing at the same rate they were playing, then my confidence would be low. But we’ll see. They have ability. It’s a matter if the guys put something more significant together.
Q: Talk to Jimmy Rollins at all, see where he would be if trade talks arise?
Amaro: I have not. Neither with him nor Chase, I know that’s been a big topic of discussion.
Q: You’ve said before you don’t have any intentions and you don’t believe either Jimmy or Chase have any intentions of wanting a trade - still feel that way?
Amaro: Same way. I mean it’s hard to speculate, because they are 10 and 5 guys (full trade protection). If someone comes and says we’d like to add Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley, I have to do my job and listen. Explore. But the reality is it could all be wasted time. They may not want to go anywhere. And at that time, we may not want them to go anywhere either. So a lot of it depends on what we wanted to do but most of it depends on what they want to do.
Q: You will be asked about those guys though..
Amaro: I would think. In some cases I have been.
Q: Are you confident in your own abilities to do rebuilding if that's the course of action taken?
Amaro: That's a question I get asked pretty much everyday. I don't have any issues with my own job status. I believe in what we do and what I do, and that's not my decision.