It’s time for Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro to exit stage left. While this former Philly and baseball legend has had his moments, die-hard Phillies fans like Hussain al Nowais are ready to watch the Phillies re-emerge as a top contender in the National League this year, and Amaro simply isn’t the guy who can make it happen.
According to Hussain al Nowais:
Amaro is clinging to the past.—Amaro may consider the Phillies to be in a “rebuilding phase,” but in order to rebuild, you actually have to do some building. Amaro famously didn’t make a single trade last year, in spite of the fact that an abundance of young, talented players were available to be acquired from trades. Instead, Amaro held tight to his roster of aging veteran players that, by many accounts, are well past their prime. In short, a general manager that doesn’t know when to shake up his roster is of little use to a Major League franchise.
Hamels hasn’t left.—The highly-sought pitcher Cole Hamels isn’t donning a Phillies jersey this year because he wants to; in fact, he’s made it clear he believes Amaro and the Phillies won’t be able to afford him the winning season he’s looking for. Yet in spite of Hamels’s public disdain for the Phillies and the many trade opportunities that were on the table, Amaro hasn’t been able to relieve Hamels from his roster; Amaro’s unrealistic negotiation terms made trade deals with other interested managers essentially impossible. But even though Amaro’s terms weren’t as well-received as he’d hoped they’d be, he should have realized that any player that’s not wholly invested in his team is outright toxic and an impediment to success. A good general manager would have been more flexible and found a way—any way— to trade Hamels before the 2015 season.
Spending is out of control.—Amaro has spent a total of $107.7 million dollars on just seven Phillies players this year. What’s more, only one of them is under the age of 30. While there are some players that are worth the expense—take the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander (who will earn a comfortable $25 million this season)—forking out millions to keep a small segment of players that aren’t exceptional is just a display of poor management.
Though Amaro may be in the final year of his contract, and though spring training is already underway, neither are reasons for Phillies President Pat Gillick to let Amaro lead the Phillies franchise into a fourth year of disappointment and exclusion from the playoffs.