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SPORTS
December 20, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Phillies were never in the market for a mid-level starting pitcher, let alone a front-line one. The current prices for pitching would stretch the Phillies beyond their self-imposed $170 million payroll limit. So, desperate for another starter, Ruben Amaro Jr. sought an undervalued commodity. "We think Roberto Hernandez will help us," Amaro said. "Our scouts and our analytics people looked at the middle-of-the-road, back-end starters and we felt like he would be a good choice for us. " Hernandez's $4.5 million deal was made official Wednesday when he passed a physical in Philadelphia.
SPORTS
December 16, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
There is time for Ruben Amaro Jr. to make the following words trivial. Pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater on Feb. 12, so the Phillies have a little less than two months to amend the Winter of Indifference. Chatter among the baseball world at last week's winter meetings sounded like, "What, exactly, is the Phillies' plan?" Then again, this franchise has operated rudderless since July 31, 2012. You remember that day, the day the Phillies traded two-thirds of their outfield in the name of "payroll flexibility" and "deeper inventory.
SPORTS
December 13, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Late for another meeting, Ruben Amaro Jr. dashed from the ninth-floor Phillies suite at the Walt Disney Dolphin Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. The general manager is searching all corners of the winter meetings for starting pitching. Two more options, Bartolo Colon and Edinson Volquez, were snatched by other teams within the next two hours. "We've laid some groundwork," Amaro said. "That doesn't mean we're necessarily going to get anything done. " The Phillies may leave here Thursday with nothing but a player taken in the Rule 5 draft (they are undecided on whether they will even select someone)
SPORTS
December 13, 2013 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Believe me, Ruben Amaro Jr. was saying, I like hitting home runs. He was sitting in the hotel suite that the Phillies front office is using as its headquarters here at baseball's winter meetings. He was speaking figuratively, and he was not lying. Since inheriting the reins of the organization 5 years ago, Amaro has swung for plenty of home runs in the month of December. Raul Ibanez, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee. In some respects, each was a luxury, a gratuitous addition to a roster that was already teeming with talent at the position in question.
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.
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