Ruben Amaro Given A Vote of Confidence
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Erik Bacharach, and Greg Johns report that Phillies president David Montgomery said that GM Ruben Amaro “is not on the hot seat” at the Baseball 101 Clinic and Luncheon for Women at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.
It isn’t shocking that Montgomery continues to publicly defend his GM despite the Phillies’ abysmal performance for a third consecutive season. Despite a fever pitch of frustration and disappointment from the majority of Phillies fans that still remains, Amaro has done a relatively decent job. Relatively, obviously, being the key word there.
Amaro did excessively dole out player and vesting options to players he has signed in recent years, but those are comparatively minor errors that have no real impact on the team’s ability to compete going forward. Since signing closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $60 million contract in November 2011, Amaro has abstained from signing free agents to lengthy, expensive contracts and losing draft picks to players who received a qualifying offer.
Additionally, Amaro hasn’t traded away the club’s future in a foolish endeavor to win games in the short-term. Furthermore, while more aggression would have been beneficial, the “Amaro administration” has been able to infuse the organization with some projectable talent. The farm system isn’t quite where it needs to be yet (ESPN’s Keith Law ranked it 14th back in January), but it is significantly better now than it was at this time two years ago.
This is hardly a defense of Amaro, as it was a string of completely avoidable catastrophic errors that put the team in the position it was and still is in. However, very rarely in baseball are GM’s refused the opportunity to patch up their own mistakes. It’s quite possible we could be in for another two years or more of Amaro.