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Phillies Trade Rumors: Amaro Listening to Offers for Four Key Players

The Philadelphia Phillies are an interesting team to watch at this year’s winter GM meetings. Ruben Amaro has a knack for pulling the trigger for big free agent signings, but over the past couple years his focus has been unloading key players (Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Michael Young, etc) in order to bring in prospects.

Then, early this offseason, he’s been signing what most teams call “role” position players, like giving a hefty contract to catcher Carlos Ruiz, signing outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract, and then signing a backup in Wil Nieves. Then Amaro traded catcher Erik Kratz and LHP Rob Rasmussen to the Blue Jays for relief pitcher Brad Lincoln, who has one career save and nine career holds.

What begs the question is, what are the Phillies really trying to do?

We got a little bit more of an idea today with Buster Olney’s report that the Phillies are listening to offers for starting pitchers Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, who have the two biggest contracts on the team. Combined with the fact that he is looking to package outfielder Dom Brown to unload Jonathan Papelbon’s contract, it appears Amaro is just looking to unload money at this point to either rebuilt or make a run at a few free agents.

The only thing is, the free agent market is not all that strong. There are interesting options like OF Nelson Cruz, Corey Hart, and Shin Soo-Choo and starting pitchers Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez, but even signing several of them would not make this team more playoff relevant than they are right now. It’d be nice to unload Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon without giving up young talent like Hamels and Brown and then still be able to make a run at 1 or 2 of the above free agents, but it’s just not possible to believe Amaro can pull something like that off.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Follow @KhandymanSports on Twitter to receive more Phillies news and rumors.

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Categories: Beat Writing, Phillies

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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