Amaro on Hamels, Lee: 'They're better on our team than not'
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday that they would eat some salary to move a player for the right deal. (AP)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A few leftover notes from Day 2 of the winter meetings:
• Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. shot down rumors that Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were on the trading block (see story). The Phillies are open to dealing Domonic Brown for the right return and they are eager to move closer Jonathan Papelbon, who is owed $26 million the next two seasons.
The Phillies would have to eat some of Papelbon’s salary or attach him to a more coveted player if they were to find a taker.
Amaro does not talk about the specifics of potential trades, but he was asked, in general, if he would be willing to eat salary in a deal.
“We’ve done it before,” he said. “If it makes us better.”
The Phils ate $22 million in salary when Jim Thome was traded to the White Sox in Nov. 2005. The Thome trade cleared a spot for Ryan Howard.
• The Phils have about $140 million committed to 12 players for 2014. Amaro expects a payroll similar to the one the club had in 2013, in the neighborhood of $165 million.
“We should be contending with this kind of payroll, at $165 million or $170 million, wherever it shakes out,” he said.
• The Phils have the fourth pick in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning. They love to do business in the draft that once landed them Shane Victorino, Dave Hollins and fan favorite Michael Martinez -- but cost them George Bell.
The Phils could lose a player in the draft. Pitcher Hector Neris and Seth Rosin could interest other clubs. So could outfielder Leandro Castro.