September 18, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross (7) on deck to bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Being the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies can be kind of a tough job sometimes.
Yeah, you get all the ladies and a pretty sweet seat at most of the games and stuff, and I understand the position comes with a paycheck of some note.
It’s good work if you can get it.
But Ruben Amaro’s job is not easy, and this offseason has been particularly difficult.
RAJ’s quest to find a power-hitting corner outfielder (preferably one that bats right-handed) has left him with just a few choices. And all of them have major drawbacks and consequences that could blow up in his face.
Nick Swisher is the best player available and would meet the Phils’ needs perfectly. But if the Phillies sign him, they would be forced to give up their first round pick, the #16 overall selection in the draft.
It’s been 10 years since the Phils have had a draft pick that high, and they don’t want to lose it. Remember, this Phillies team was built through the draft. Chase Utley, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Pat Burrell were all drafted by the team and came through the system. That’s the core that won a title in 2008.
So while Swisher would be the perfect fit, the cost of dollars and the lost of a very important draft pick are the reasons you haven’t heard the Phillies linked to him at all.
Cody Ross would not require a draft pick, but also is not nearly as good a player as Swisher. Yes, he’s right-handed and had a very solid 2012 season, but in this free agent market he will likely cost four years at around $9-10 million.
Ross is not worth that price.
The remaining possibilities are only available through trade, which would only further dilute a minor league system which has already had a few apples plucked from it this offseason.
Any warm body that is traded for Alfonso Soriano is a wasted body (unless it’s Michael Martinez or Pete Orr, that’d be cool). Peter Bourjos doesn’t fit the Phillies’ needs since they acquired Ben Revere. Mark Trumbo is a solid right-handed power bat, but the Phils would have to give up some of their best young talent to get him, basically emptying the farm system once again.
So, while Phils fans clamor for Amaro to do something, ANYTHING, Amaro remains patient.
I mean, he has to. All his other options are a series of crap sandwiches.