PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After weeks of rumors, and “buy or sell” discussions, the Phillies allowed the MLB non-waiver trade deadline to pass without even one deal.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro says the reason that the Phillies did not make a trade is simple.
“Well, frankly, I didn’t get that a deal I liked it. We’re not going to give players away. I have no reason to give our, obviously our better players, away,” Amaro told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday. “My job is to try to put the best team on the field as I possibly can, not just for the future, but also for now. Really there was no deal out there that was going to really help us either way, and so, why would I trade a [Michael] Young, or an Utley, or a Lee, or a Chooch, when the return on those players was not going to be all that good.”
“I did have a conversations with the Yankees. I was engaged with them. I was engaged with many other clubs, including Boston and many others. The fact of the matter is, again, if they were offering something that was going to move us forward as a club, then I would have tried to move us forward.”
When the team is struggling as much as it is this season, and finished .500 last season, does Amaro believe he should make a deal just for the sake of change?
“No, not in the case when you are trying to win baseball games today. If I’m going to move a guy like Michael Young, and I can be specific because its been talked about quite a bit,” Amaro said. The fact of the matter is Michael Young has been one of our better offensive players right now. He’s not blocking anyone from our system and we’re not going to acquire someone that is going to help our organization—if we feel like the talent that is being offered is not satisfactory or is going to help us, why would I make that move? Why would I take away from my club and add a player in our system, who I don’t believe is going to help our club? It doesn’t make any sense. That’s not a good business decision.”
“I’m not being delusional. I know we’ve played poorly, but we’re in the job of winning baseball games,” Amaro said. “We’re not trying to lose baseball games. Would you like us to try to lose games?”
So are the 2013 Phillies a lost cause?
“I don’t know that. We don’t have our guys on the field and it makes it pretty difficult. Domonic Brown being off the field now, we lose two of our power threats in Howard not being out there. We lose our center fielder [Ben Revere] who was actually having a heck of a year before he broke his ankle. That really hurt us on the offensive side of the game. For awhile, all the way up until the trade deadline, until a week before hand, we were looking to add to try to make our club better,” Amaro said. “It didn’t make any sense for us to utilize young pieces to improve our bullpen, which was something that I was working on, it didn’t make any sense at the time because we had played so poorly that, why would I risk losing more talent when the possibility of us getting back into the race was fairly remote. Again, you’re absolutely right [Angelo], I have to look to the future. It doesn’t mean that between now and the end of the season, there may not be a deal out there that makes some sense for us, to move players. I can guarantee you that there will be moves made, between now and the end of the season, hopefully that will bring us players or help us improve our club.”
Though the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, teams can still make trades if a player clears waivers, or with a team who claims a player off of waivers.
“I do believe [there will be deals to be made] and the reason why I say that is things will crystallize to the point where, if they didn’t get exactly what they happened and they had a deficiency somewhere, they would be more apt knowing they would absolutely have to make a move to improve their club,” Amaro said. “Some of these things can happen post trade deadline. There are some things that could happen over the course of these next two or three weeks, or month. Everybody thinks that this is it, the fact of the matter is we’re going to continue to try to improve and if there is a move to make and I can get the players that I think are necessary to help us move forward, than I will absolutely do that.”
There were rumors the Phillies would think about trading Chase Utley, but it seems that focus has been moved to re-signing the second baseman.
“I don’t know if it is going to be possible to reproduce the kind of production that I am going to be able to get out of a guy like Chase Utley. There’s not a player out there, a second baseman in fact, who is going to be able to produce the way he is going to produce. He is one of the best in the game,” Amaro said. “Now that doesn’t mean we go to every single cost to sign the man. We have to be cognoscente of the fact that’s he missed over 200 games in the past four years. We have to be cognoscente of the fact that he’s getting older, but we also sit here and watch him play and I watch that he’s healthier. He’s moving around very, very well. He hasn’t been on the injury list for his knees the entire season. And so these are all factors that—and I love the player. He is a leader on our club. He is a quality human being. He is what we epitomize in our city and in our organization and is the type of player you want on your club. What player out there is going to be able to replace Chase Utley?”