Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that although fans may want the team to be aggressive before the July 31 trade deadline, they don't understand what goes into building a baseball team.
“They don’t understand the game,” Amaro said, according to CSN Philadelphia. "They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they bitch and complain because we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place and we’re sticking with the plan. We can’t do what’s best for the fan. We have to do what’s best for the organization so the fan can reap the benefit of it later on. That’s the truth.”
Later Tuesday, Amaro apologized to Phillies fans for his comments, saying he "probably used my words incorrectly or poorly."
“I’d like to apologize to the fans,” Amaro told CSN Philadelphia. “I’m a fan myself. I understand the passion and knowledge that our fans have for our game and the other major sports, all the other sports in Philly. The comments weren’t meant to disparage our fans by any stretch of the imagination."
Several former All-Stars, including starting pitcher Cole Hamels, relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, second baseman Chase Utley and first baseman Ryan Howard, could be shipped elsewhere as the team looks to rebuild and slice significant amounts of its $107 million payroll.
Howard is owed $25 million in each of the next two seasons, with a $23 million club option for 2017, and Hamels is making $23.5 million each of the next four years.
“I’ve had dialogue on a variety of things over the last several weeks and that will continue,” Amaro said, according to CSN Philadelphia. “There’s been dialogue on all these guys. But nothing is imminent."
Philadelphia is 19-28 and fourth in the National League East, nine games behind the Washington Nationals. The Phillies have missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
- Scooby Axson