By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jonathan Papelbon made it clear, yet again, that he wants to be traded when he said on Monday that the Phillies need to “you-know-what or get off the pot.”
Furthermore, the 34-year-old closer took a dig at the Phillies’ front-office, saying, “I’m not sure, just sitting down speaking with [Phillies general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.] is gonna get something done.”
Well, what say you, Rube?
“Pap is a very good pitcher,” Amaro told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday morning. “He doesn’t know anything about the front-office. It’s as simple as that.
Listen: Ruben Amaro Jr. on the 94WIP Morning Show
“I’m the GM and Pat [Gillick] is my boss,” he continued. “And in all of these deals, particularly in ones that are as complicated and can be involved—have so much money involved, these are all discussions that we’ve had. When I was with David Montgomery, same thing. These are all decisions that are made unilaterally. I don’t walk into a discussion and make a deal. It’s something that’s discussed, not just with me, but with my boss and that’s the same structure that we have right now. Right now, Andy [MacPhail] is part of the decision making process, but only in so much that he’s an observer and someone who’s gonna give us his opinion. Really, Pat is the one that ultimately will make the ultimate decisions.”
Amaro, however, does understand Papelbon’s desire to want to play for a winning team.
“I understand his issue,” Amaro said of Papelbon’s trade request. “I mean, the man wants to go and play and play for a contender. That’s why he signed with us. That is what we sold him when we were having the discussion to bring him here to Philadelphia.
“And sadly, we haven’t lived up to our part of the bargain. And I could understand why he would want to go play for a contender.”
With the July 31st deadline looming, Amaro feels a deal will “probably” get done.
“There have been some on-going discussions with several teams and there continue to be,” Amaro explained. “There are live discussions going on right now regarding Pap. I do believe that there is enough of a market that we could probably get something done.”
Another Phillies veteran, 36-year-old second baseman and fan favorite Chase Utley, has had a putrid first half of the season. Now on the disabled list with a measly .179 batting average and recovering from an ankle injury, many have speculated retirement is coming for Utley.
“No, he’s absolutely unequivocally not ready to do that,” Amaro said strongly. “He’s got plenty in the tank left. I think that he believes that getting over some of those ankle issues that have been nagging at him for quite some time, I think he feels that’ll get him turned around and hopeful that it does for a variety of reasons. For him, for us, for everybody.”