For the most part this week, the Phillies fall into that final category of rumors. They haven't made a single move this week but rumors have flown about the front office shopping aces Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, closer Jonathan Papelbon, and outfielder Dom Brown.
There is one thing that closely binds three of them together: big-money salaries. For Hamels, Lee, and Papelbon, they are owed a lot of money over the next few years which can be a turnoff to most teams.
The Phillies are in no rush to move any of these guys so their demands appeared to be clear: it is going to take the right amount of talent PLUS teams taking on all of the remaining salaries. For someone like Cliff Lee that is owed $62.5 million over the next three seasons or Jonathan Papelbon who is owed $26 over the next two - that is a hefty chunk of money.
CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reports that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is singing a different tune nowadays. Amaro says that the Phillies would be open to eating part of a salary for the right deal.
I took that as "if we can get top notch players to save my job then, yeah, of course we'll eat money."
Papelbon's value isn't exactly high at the moment because his velocity is declining and his contract is still an albatross. Lee and Hamels gets a little stickier. In order to sell that deal to the fanbase, Amaro will have to bring back a major haul and eat little-to-no salary.
He's in a high-risk, low-reward situation. Normally I would feel bad for him in this situation but he put himself here and dragged the rest of the Phillies fans with him.
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