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SPORTS
December 12, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Roy Halladay's decline, declaring for free agency and then sudden retirement on Monday was a stark reminder of a glaring hole that still remains on the Phillies' roster. The rotation still needs a replacement for Halladay, and starting pitching depth in general. So when rumors of the Phillies listening to trade offers for Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee swirled through the hallways and conference rooms at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin Resort yesterday morning, it was pretty difficult to take them seriously.
SPORTS
December 12, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The two men spoke loudly enough in the ninth-floor hallway so everyone could hear. A day's worth of trade rumors at these winter meetings spiraled around the Phillies, and team executives found them humorous. They planned a skit. "We can't trade Cole," Ruben Amaro Jr. said to Scott Proefrock, his top lieutenant. They both smirked. "No," Proefrock said, "we're trading Lee!" The Phillies do not possess many tradeable assets in their quest to remedy a 73-win team; Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are two of the game's best lefthanded pitchers and would interest many teams.
SPORTS
December 9, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bold best describes what Ruben Amaro Jr. has done so far in putting together the 2014 Phillies and it sure is appropriate that the word ends with the letters O-L-D. The construction of this team essentially started in August, when the general manager decided the proper course of action was to extend the contract of second baseman Chase Utley, a man who turns 35 this month and missed huge chunks of time in 2011 and 2012 because of a chronic condition that has invaded both of his knees.
SPORTS
December 6, 2013 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., like most of his counterparts, is in search of pitching, and he's intrigued by his most recent acquisition, Brad Lincoln. The 28-year-old righthander was acquired by the Phillies on Tuesday from the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Erik Kratz and minor-league lefthander Rob Rasmussen. (Rasmussen was acquired by the Phillies from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Michael Young trade in August.) Lincoln was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and began his career as a starter, but he pitched entirely in relief during parts of two seasons with the Blue Jays.
SPORTS
December 5, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
John Mayberry Jr.'s return to the Phillies was never in doubt in Ruben Amaro Jr.'s mind. "John has value as a versatile player," the general manager said Tuesday, one day after tendering a contract to Mayberry and three other players who are eligible for salary arbitration. "I don't quite understand the venom John gets. I do not view John as an everyday player. I view him as a solid bench player, so there is value to that part of his game, especially since he has power off the bench.
SPORTS
November 15, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ORLANDO - There was no sense, Ruben Amaro Jr. said, in waiting to see how the free-agent market developed. His scouts identified Marlon Byrd as a high-priority target, and a match was made with $16 million. The Phillies general manager struck, as he often does, early in the offseason. The annual expectation is for Amaro to make a blockbuster acquisition, but he speaks in more conservative tones this winter. The Phillies still seek a catcher, and a reunion with Carlos Ruiz remains likely.
SPORTS
November 13, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ORLANDO, Fla. - Ruben Amaro Jr. whisked through the lobby of the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes wearing a Bluetooth earpiece. He dropped his bag upstairs, shook some hands, and stopped a conversation when Marlins general manager Dan Jennings approached. "We'll talk later," Amaro said to him. That is Amaro's dream, although an acquisition of Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton is improbable. Even Amaro is willing to admit it. His immediate priority is the procurement of a starting catcher, and he downplayed the notion of being in a poor bargaining position.
SPORTS
October 2, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - After Cliff Lee shook David Montgomery's hand in a back hallway underneath Turner Field, the Phillies lefthander and club president went their separate ways Sunday morning. Lee, a 35-year-old man who lamented the ticking clock of his career, wants to believe the Phillies can win because "you've got to expect the front office to make moves and do everything they can to keep that going. " Montgomery, ownership's public face, bestowed faith in Ruben Amaro Jr. as the man to fix a $160 million team that was outscored by 139 runs.
SPORTS
September 26, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
MIAMI - The moment Roy Halladay's season ended Monday night, four men convened in the tunnel underneath the visitors dugout. A sweat-soaked Halladay told Phillies assistant athletic trainer Shawn Fcasni he felt no pain in his shoulder or elbow. Manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Rich Dubee listened with relief. They saw a man who pushed his body to the limit. The reward was meager. There was little to learn from Halladay's six postoperative starts. The Phillies say they cannot evaluate Halladay based on the results because he rushed to pitch.
SPORTS
September 26, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
MIAMI - Baseball people rarely get the perfect exit: the John Wayne ending, riding off into the sunset with their heads held high. Charlie Manuel, the winningest manager in Phillies history, was dismissed with 6 weeks remaining in the season, without a proper goodbye at Citizens Bank Park. The New York Yankees pulled out all the stops for Mariano Rivera on Sunday, inviting Metallica on the final stop of his farewell tour, but the career of the best closer in baseball history likely will end without one last dance through the postseason.
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