General manager Ruben Amaro and president Pat Gillick are apparently running around baseball's annual general managers' meeting this week looking for TNT and a detonator.
Reports out of Phoenix, courtesy of CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury, indicate the Phils are doing everything they can to turn the page to a new era of baseball in Philadelphia, at least according to one "rival executive."
"They’re trying to blow the whole thing up," the executive said. "Everyone is for sale."
I would recommend the Phillies wait to blow everything up until they've sold all their players. You don't want to damage them.
Amaro and Gillick have both admitted throughout the start of the off-season that the team is officially in full rebuild mode. Gillick said the Phillies likely wouldn't contend until 2016 or '17, a clear message to the veterans on the team that everyone will be made available and that the Phils would probably be a lousy place to play for the next little while.
And, as such, Ruben's Crazy Inferno Of Dealmaking is apparently open... to a point.
According the executive, the two players that would give the Phillies the most pause are Cole Hamels and Ken Giles -- Hamels because he’s one of the top starting pitchers in the game and Giles because he’s young, inexpensive and has sky’s-the-limit potential. But even those two pitchers could be had for the right price –- and that price would be steep.
First of all, there is NO WAY the Phils are interested in selling Ken Giles. None. Ken Giles barely makes more than me, and I'm doing this basically for free. A statement like that almost makes everything else this "executive" has to say pure poppycock.
For the record, the rival executive said he believed that the Phillies would find an American League team to take Ryan Howard, provided the Phils ate a huge amount of the $60 million that he is owed through 2016. They Phillies are willing to do that.
Wait, the Phils want to trade Ryan Howard? This is information we have not had before! Please, well-placed executive of a "rival," tell me more!
Thankfully, USA Today's Bob Nightengale is helping to fill in the gaps, reporting the Kansas City Royals have discussed trading for Howard to replace Billy Butler as their DH.
The Royals aren't about to rip up their payroll, and David Glass suddenly isn't about to go all Steinbrenner on us, but if the Phillies are willing to eat most of the contract, the Royals have had internal discussions about acquiring him.
They believe he just might be the perfect fit to replace Billy Butler as their everyday DH, and considering they didn't have a single player hit 20 homers or drive in 75 runs last year, he may be the power threat the Royals need to return to the World Series.
Yes, these are the same Royals that went to the World Series this year based on team speed and defense.
At least the price should be right, as the Phils are likely to eat (metaphorically, not physically I hope) most of the $60 million he's owed over the next two years. Moving on.
The executive also opined that the Phils would capitalize on the dearth of power in the game and find a taker for Marlon Byrd, who is owed $8 million next season and has a reachable $8 million option for 2016. Detroit and Cincinnati are two teams to watch on Byrd.
OK, finally a little bit of useful information from the Exec here. Detroit and Cincinnati are possible suitors for Byrd. This is helpful, Anonymous Executive.
As for Hamels, the executive was uncertain whether the Phillies would get the value they needed to deal Hamels, but he believed moving the lefty and shedding the $96 million he is owed could be a boon to the rebuilding process.
Wow, this is some next-level analysis and observation from The Executive. I'm so glad he's there, sharing his insights with the Philadelphia media. You're doing God's work, sir.
The Cubs, Red Sox and perhaps the Dodgers are seen as potential landing spots for Cole. However, the Red Sox just landed on Hamels' updated no-trade list, although if they pick up his $19 million option for 2019, his ears may perk up.
Seriously, we all know the Phillies are ready to trade away anyone not nailed down who doesn't have 10-5 no-trade rights. And for those players that do, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, they've tried to make it clear that October baseball won't be coming back to Philadelphia this season, barring a miracle.
YASMANY TOMAS AGENT MEETING
One piece of news that did come out of the GM meetings was the Phillies meeting with the agent for Yasmany Tomas, the young Cuban outfielder. Jay Alou told Salisbury the Phils are one of the front-runners to sign his client.
"There are several teams that I could say are frontrunners, but yes (the Phillies are one of them)," Jay Alou said at the general managers’ meetings Monday.
Alou also revealed that the team has held two private workouts with the Phillies, although he noted the Phils had not made an official offer as of yet.
Amaro would not comment on his meeting with Alou, but it's clear the Phils want him. Whether they'll be willing to match the presumed 7-year, $100 million price tag they're likely asking for is another matter.
My prediction is the Phillies will get him. The momentum just seems to be heading in that direction.
And Monday's meeting was another step in that direction.