Here's something to talk about on an off-day. In an exclusive interview with Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies' GM told Jim Salisbury that the Phillies have no intention of "blowing up" their roster. Retool, maybe, but the Phils are "never going to be in the position of blowing up."
Sure sounds like the intent is to keep Cliff Lee. Amaro says in the interview that the Phillies' best chance of winning now and in the future is with Lee and Cole Hamels atop the rotation.
Lee obviously has immense trade value, probably more than any player in the last half-dozen trade deadlines. On top of being an ace, Lee is pitching better than he has in two years and is under control for two more. He's a player every team in baseball needs, including the Phillies.
"Boston didn’t blow it up last year," Amaro said. "They retooled. That’s the challenge we have whether it’s July 31 or November 1.”
True, the Red Sox kept guys like Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz. But those first four guys are still young. And what Boston did was so completely different -- the Red Sox sold off valuable pieces (Adrian Gonzalez) to clear the payroll of dead weight (Josh Beckett).
Amaro touched on a number of other topics. He's disappointed in the team's play so far. He admits Ben Revere has fallen short of expectations, as has Delmon Young. He admits Ryan Howard hasn't played well at all. He admits even he was surprised by Domonic Brown's power surge.
Amaro also talked a little Darin Ruf, saying that just because he hit 30-plus homers at Double-A doesn't mean he's ready.
I'd suggest reading the article in its entirety. Pretty revealing stuff, and it is as hard to justify trading Lee as it is to losing the opportunity to obtain one of the top prospects in baseball. That's the thing: If you're offered Jurickson Profar or Oscar Taveras you have to listen and consider. That is not at all a pipe dream. Lee's a top-seven starting pitcher who could help a contender make three straight World Series runs.