By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
The MLB non-waiver trade deadline came and went, and to the outrage (but unfortunately, not the surprise) of Philadelphia fans, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. did not make a single move. For an aging team sitting 11.5 games out of first place in the NL East, the baseball world was in consensus that the Phillies needed to be sellers at the deadline. They needed to continue to restock a depleted farm system to help get the organization back into a position where it can once again contend. Sadly, the only person not in agreement is the one making decisions for the organization.
While the Red Sox were turning a couple months of ace pitcher Jon Lester into one of the best power-hitting young outfielders in the game in Yoenis Cespedes, Ruben Amaro complained that teams weren’t aggressive enough in pursuing his stocked stable of talent. Guess what Ruben, if you had such great players available, the team wouldn’t be firmly in last place in the NL East. Even if he didn’t want to trade bigger names like Cole Hamels, there were still players who absolutely should have left town to help the future of the franchise.
AJ Burnett is 37 years old; he is not going to be a part of the next Phillies contender. He has to be moved, even if the return is as little as a player whose ceiling is coming out of the bullpen. Likewise, Marlon Byrd is 36; if teams aren’t thrilled about his salary in the next one to two years, you lower your asking price a bit. You can’t even say Amaro is waiting for a better return with the waiver deadline still to come because he’s reportedly telling Jonathan Papelbon that he intends to ‘continue’ being a contender the next few years.
Some people in Philadelphia complain about the Sixers purposely putting a poor product on the court, and believe me, I understand the frustration with having to sit through a long rebuilding process. However, even the objectors to Sam Hinkie’s plan would agree that there is at least logical reasoning behind what he’s doing with the team. People can at least envision a brighter tomorrow. With Ruben Amaro at the reins of the Phillies, the forecast remains cloudy with a chance of Kyle Kendrick meatballs.