Ruben Amaro, Jr. implied that he would be patient during the offseason even though the Phillies ended the 2012 campaign with a number of job openings.
The Phillies GM has taken his time. He has also filled the third base void, the set-up role and center field.
One glaring need remains, a spot for a power-hitting corner outfielder. The Phillies passed on a number of pricey free agents. Will Amaro stand pat going into the season opener?
“I have my doubts,” a NL executive said. “I think the Phillies are biding their time. I have a feeling they’ll make a trade eventually to bolster the outfield.”
Alfonso Soriano could be available. The word was that the Phillies and Cubs talked about a deal in December, but it’s complicated. Soriano has two-years left on his gigantic, $136-million contract. The bigger issue than who the Phillies give up is how much salary the Cubs would be willing to eat.
Soriano, who turned 37 today, has a no-trade clause and he exercised that when the Cubs attempted to deal him to the San Francisco Giants. Would Soriano, who will make $36 million over the next two seasons, give the thumbs up to a trade to Philly?
“That’s a good question,” the NL executive said. “Soriano played well last season. If he’s looking for a park that’s like Wrigley, Philly would be a nice fit for him.
“It would also be an opportunity for him to win, which doesn’t appear to be in the cards for him in Chicago over the next two years.”
There are also rumors that the Angels will deal former All-Star outfielder Vernon Wells.
“I would rather go with Soriano than Wells no matter how much salary is consumed by the Angels,” the NL executive said. “We’ll see what happens. I have a feeling the Phillies are good for one more move and I think it’s a corner outfield [acquisition]. We’ll see what happens.”