PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Phillies General Manager Rubem Amaro was on the 94 WIP Morning Show Friday and addressed several topics, including the possibility of signing slugger Josh Hamilton and breaking up the Big 3 pitchers.
You are very accessible to the fans and the media? Why do you think accessibility is so important?
“I grew up in this town. We have a fan base that doesn’t just believe that we have a team to cheer on. They become, our fans become the fabric of the team. They actually believe they can impact the game. They actually believe they can impact our club. I get it. That’s the way we think, that’s the way we feel. When we come out and watch our teams, we think that the way we react on the field will actually impact the club, and at times it has. We feel sometimes that we can will a team to win and we get angry when we lose, and I get it. So it’s important for me to be able to be available for other people to answer the questions. Should we be operating and doing things that the fans want us to do? Not necessarily. We have to do what’s important for our organization and to make decisions based on what we think is important, but we also can’t lose sight of what the fans are all about and what their expectation is of what we do.”
Angelo: You know why I asked that question? Because you can’t get Howie Roseman, he’s hiding right now.
Rhea: You want to know where Ruben could have stopped at? “I grew up in this town.”
Angelo: Rhea that is a huge part of it. Look, you can like him, you can hate him. He’s taken heat again for this trade, people are after him because he’s not Pat Gillick, but I’m going to tell you one thing, I will always respect about that guy. He respects the fans enough to be available to answer the questions that we just asked. That is asking not that much of a guy who is the GM of your team and yet, in this city that is very hard to find.
What do you like about new outfielder Ben Revere?
“Well, pretty much what you have seen. This is a guy that has great speed, he’s developing as a hitter. He puts the bat on the ball, he’s got kind of a funky swing, he’s got a deep hitch, he makes contact, he’s an aggressive player, and he’s got great energy, and he’s an outstanding center fielder. We felt like with the market place, the way it is right now, I’d rather pay for players–than pay 50, 60, 70, 80 million dollars–for players that do this sort of thing. It’s hard to compare what he’s going to be, but I think he’s going to help us.”
Will he be a lead-off hitter type, if not now, eventually?
“I think probably, eventually. Right now, he may be at the top of the lineup for us, or towards the top of the lineup. One of the main things that we really thought it was necessary, especially for our staff, is to sure up that defense. And he certainly does that.”
Special appeal because he is young?
“The youth, the fact that he is very reasonable economically, it allows us to have the flexibility to do some of the other things. We walked into this—this is a very different off-season than we’ve had than the last few, because of the team that Pat [Gillick] left me with. We had much fewer holes. These guys are getting older, and we have more free agents, and have other pieces to fill. We’ve got to keep your flexibility up as high as we can, because we’ve got other things to do, more things than we’ve had in the past. This solves a need and continues to create some flexibility financially that’s necessary to try to do some of the other things we need to do.”
Harder to give up: Vance Worley or Trevor May?
“That’s a great question. Probably Vance Worley, in so much, he’s already doing it at the major league level. Trevor May has a very, very good arm. He had a little bit of a flip in the screen last year. This is my philosophy on talent: if you want to get talent, you have to give up talent. Did we overpay for the guy? I don’t know, maybe we did. But we felt like this was a very specific need, and I guess the philosophy is if we are going to give up a 4th or 5th starter to get an everyday player in the major league, particularly in a premium position, than I would do it every time.”
Is power a concern?
“Yeah, it is a concern and I would like to have more power on the club, but to have power on the club, there’s an over payment that’s drastic. There aren’t very many guys out there, other than B.J. Upton and Josh Hamilton really, who have power, and you’re talking about going to stratospheres economically that I don’t know are the right things for us to do. In particularly, in Hamilton’s case, he’s the best out there, there is no question, but the commitment to bring him here may not be right for us. That’s the issue. I think that’s why we have to be creative. We have to try to create runs and if we’re not doing it with power, we got to try to do it with speed and we got to try to do it with defense, and we have to have success on the mound.”
“Look at the San Francisco Giants. Did they have any power? Did they have any home runs? None. And so it’s about pitching and defense and playing the game the right way, and if you can’t win like we won in 2008, you got to try to figure out other ways to win.”
Does three years appeal to you for Hamilton?
“You can’t deny the fact that he’s the one guy out there who has power. But the fact of the matter is, we like to keep our discussions quiet. I don’t really want to get into that sort of stuff. The only thing I can tell you right now is that, we’re trying to piece together a couple more of those needs and the other piece of that is I like to try to go shorter on contracts than longer. Now, we’ve gone longer out of necessity, particularly in the case of [Cliff] Lee and [Cole] Hamels, but we’re talking about very, very special players in that regard.”
Michael Young situation, reports waiting for his approval:
“I cannot really talk about it. I know there is a lot information out there. Some if it’s false, some of it’s true. The fact of the matter is, there’s a bunch of different areas we want to address this year. Third base is one of them, the center field situation is another, the bullpen is another, and in fact, we’re looking at the possibility of doing something in the corner outfield. We are not going to stop working on trying to improve in those areas.”
Did you consider getting rid of one of your “Big Three” Aces?
“Absolutely not. If the Philadelphia Phillies want to win a World Series in 2013, the only way to do that, I believe, is by keep the three together. That’s our strength. We have to hope that Roy [Halladay] comes back and wins 13-18 games, and if he can do that and those two left-handers pitch the way they can pitch, we got a fighters chance.”
How confident are you in Roy Halladay coming back and being that pitcher?
“If there is a player on the planet, that can come back and pitch like the ace that he was, it’s Roy Halladay. Because he’s going to figure out, even if his stuff is not what it was in 2010 and 2011, he is going to figure out a way to win you and the team some games if he is healthy enough to do it. Right now, he is healthy. He feels good, his work out regiment has been altered, we won’t know exactly how good he feels until he is on the mound and throwing, which he will be doing. I guess he’ll start throwing probably in the middle of this month. He’ll start getting off the mound and we’ll know more about that, but he feels very good, he has done some long-tossing, and right now we’re very optimistic that he can come back and pitch similarly to what Roy [Halladay] has been doing. We don’t know what we’re going to get out of him until he’s actually on the mound and firing.”