With two wild cards and lots of games still to be played, it's too early to tell how Amaro's offseason moves will look come the end of September. The one thing we can tell you, however, is that the Phillies general manager has made the rest of baseball a more interesting place to follow for Phillies fans.
That fact dawned on me last weekend when I watched Hunter Pence step to the plate in the top of the ninth inning with San Francisco down to its last out against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Pence homered to force extra innings, and the Giants won.
He, of course, could still be playing right field for the Phillies, but Amaro decided the team needed to go in another direction. The Phillies did not believe Pence would be worth the $13.8 million he received from the Giants in his last season as an arbitration-eligible player, and they may be right. Nothing Pence has done since joining San Francisco has made them think otherwise, but his progress is worth watching this season, especially given the Phillies' right-field issues that may or may not be solved by Delmon Young.
It's still fun to track Jayson Werth because the Phillies, except for the second half of the 2011 season when Pence joined them, have not come close to getting the production he provided from right field.
Another corner outfielder the Phils could have had on the cheap was Nate Schierholtz. He belonged to them as part of the Pence trade last July. After a very short audition, the Phillies simply released the 29-year-old rightfielder and he signed with the Cubs for $2.25 million. He entered the weekend hitting .350 with eight extra-base hits and a 1.059 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage.
Shane Victorino and a long list of big-league center fielders are also worth following. The Phillies went young and cheap with Ben Revere in center field and that decision became magnified by his poor start. Victorino, meanwhile, is off to a good start for the rejuvenated Red Sox up in Boston.
But he's just one centerfielder the Phillies could have had instead of Revere. Maybe Amaro could have been more aggressive in his pursuit of Denard Span, who entered the weekend with a .313 average and .421 on-base percentage in Washington.
B.J. Upton is off to an awful start for the white-hot Braves and it's hard to argue that the Phillies should have matched or exceeded the five-year, $75.25 million deal he received from Atlanta. On the other hand, the Braves parlayed that move into a deal for his younger brother, Justin, who is the league MVP through the first three weeks.
Amaro admitted he talked to Arizona about Justin Upton, but the Braves were obviously more aggressive.
Michael Bourn is another centerfielder the Phillies could have had, but they were not willing to play the waiting game with agent Scott Boras. Bourn signed with Cleveland for four years and $48 million, far less than Boras believed he would get. Terry Francona and the Indians are pleased with their investment so far, even though Bourn landed on the disabled list last week.
Other moves Amaro has made in the past are also worth tracking. There's Jonathan Villar, Jared Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and Domingo Santana in Houston's farm system. There's Anthony Gose in Toronto's system. There's Travis d'Arnaud in the New York Mets' system.
If this Phillies season remains difficult to watch, you can at least keep checking on all of the above. We'll check back on all of them in September.
Contact Bob Brookover at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @brookob.