PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed the media on Friday afternoon, announcing the trade of Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers.
“I would put him up against any competitor or any athlete we’ve had here in Philadelphia,” Amaro said of Hamels. “He expected perfection from himself every single time out and when he wasn’t it annoyed him.”
Plenty of teams were interested in Hamels and while they didn’t feel pressed to make a trade, Amaro says this deal was the right one.
“There were no shortage of suitors here and we just felt like this was, under the circumstances and with–as I said, we were not forced,” Amaro said. “We had no mandate. We just felt collectively as a group, that this was the right thing for us to do in our organization.
“We were very happy with the return. We believe that the level of talent that we received in this deal was exactly what we were looking for. We were looking depth and we were looking for quality and we got both.”
It certainly wasn’t easy, however.
“One of the difficulties, obviously, in trading a guy like Cole Hamles is what he has meant to our organization over the years,” Amaro said. “There’s nothing at all easy about these decisions and trades. Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels. They’re difficult because these are iconic players for our organization.
“We’ve got a very good package of players that I think will help propel this organization forward in the future.”
In late June, the Phillies hired Andy MacPhail to take over for acting President Pat Gillick at the end of the season. Amaro, who took over as Phillies GM in 2009, says he was the “point guy” in this trade.
“I had Pat Gillick in the room with me,” Amaro said. “I had Andy MacPhail in the room with me, but I’m the GM. I’m the point guy, I guess the talking head, whatever you want to call me. This is no different from doing a deal for Cliff Lee or for anyone else.”
Hamels, who had the option to block a trade to certain teams, reportedly rejected a trade to the Houston Astros.
“Cole earned the right through the contract to decided wherever he wanted to go,” Amaro admitted. “And were there other opportunities to get more clubs involved and were others aggressive? Yes there were. There were some clubs that were aggressive. Could we have gotten better deals? I don’t know that. But we did travel down a path even with some clubs that he didn’t have on his list.”
The Rangers were able to hold onto their top-two prospects in Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara. Amaro admits he tried to snag those guys.
“Answer to that is probably yes,” Amaro said, when asked if they inquired about Gallo and Mazara. “We talked about a variety of different combinations. The beauty of that organization is that they have a lot of depth. Could we have continued to hold out for those types of players? Maybe. But would we have gotten the same level of depth and quality? I do not believe so.”