In the midst of Cliff Lee trade rumors and Shane Victorino signings, Ruben Amaro took a break from what I assume to have been a long hibernation to speak with Brian Kenny, Dan Plesac, and Tom Verducci on MLB Tonight. It was a rather quick interview, but he did make a couple of interesting statements.
- On the Cliff Lee - Justin Upton trade, Ruben said the rumors are "absolutely false".
- Amaro mentioned that Chase Utley feels good, is fielding ground balls, and fully expects to be ready by Spring Training. He also says something interesting about the idea of moving Utley to third base, noting that Chase actually approached him about the move. Chase wanted to be out of Galvis' way upon his return.
- Ideally, Ruben is looking for an everyday centerfielder, as well as a left hander to platoon with John Mayberry Jr. in left field. He also mentions his interest in bringing in a veteran 8th inning guy, although he mentions his belief that Bastardo is still a viable candidate for that role.
- Regarding the Shane Victorino signing, Amaro says he spoke to both Shane and his agent, but the money was not right for the team. He also described the difficulty he had trading Victorino before the trade deadline.
- When asked about Carlos Ruiz, Ruben said Chooch actually called him to discuss the suspension. Amaro notes that Carlos was very emotional, and that Erik Kratz will get an opportunity to begin the seaosn as the team's catcher.
- In closing, Amaro stated that there is no way he could trade either Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, or Cole Hamels and still expect th team to be championship contenders. He fully expects this team to be productive.
It's interesting to note that there was no discussion about what would be done at third base this season.
Normally, you would have to take Ruben Amaro's comments with a grain of salt. But I believe a majority of what he's saying. Any trade he makes would certainly include some prospects, and not any of the aces. Let's just hope he makes good on his quest for a center fielder and late-inning reliever.
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