Amaro: Phils would eat money in right deal

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Amaro: Phils would eat money in right deal

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.

Phillies-Marlins rained out Tuesday; makeup date to be determined

Phillies-Marlins rained out Tuesday; makeup date to be determined

Tuesday night's Phillies-Marlins game at Citizens Bank Park has been postponed because of rain.

Details for a makeup date will be announced at a later time.

The Phillies, winnners of four straight, were set to open a three-game set against Miami.

Following this series, the Phillies head out on a seven-game road trip starting Friday night against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

Vince Velasquez, who was scheduled to pitch Tuesday, will now start Wednesday night's game, while Jeremy Hellickson will take the mound Thursday afternoon.

Vince Papale to Brock Stassi: 'We call that the last laugh'

Vince Papale to Brock Stassi: 'We call that the last laugh'

Former Eagle Vince Papale, the inspiration for the movie "Invincible," paid a visit to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday afternoon to meet Phillies outfielder Brock Stassi. Papale wanted to give him a copy of the film "Invincible" -- a movie Stassi has yet to see -- and talk to another Philadelphia athlete who has played the underdog role.

Papale said he couldn't help but get choked up when he first saw the video of Stassi being interviewed after he made the Phillies' roster (watch above).

"Brock's story came on and I started doing one of these," Papale said as he reached to wipe the fake tears from his eyes. "So I got my wife Janet and I said, 'You gotta come in and see this.' And I texted my son Vince down at Delaware and said, 'You see this guy? He's just like us.'

"I contacted (Phillies publicity director) John (Brazer) and texted him right then and said I wanted the film rights for this."

Stassi, a long shot to make the Phillies' roster, was the feel-good story of the spring. The six-year minor leaguer had a spring training to remember, hitting .306 (19 for 62) with six home runs and 17 RBIs.  

As always, when an underdog makes an impact in Philadelphia, there will be association to past Philly underdogs like Papale or legendary movie character Rocky Balboa.

"I did get a few ["Invincible" references on Twitter]," Stassi said of when he made the team. "A lot of people made that reference and I am honored to even be put in the same category as him."

Papale assumed the role of a reporter and posed a question to Stassi: "What kept you going?"

"Ever since I was drafted, I've believed in myself that I would be here one day," Stassi said. "And after my first spring, I was in extended spring training and that's a place you don't want to be when you are 22 years old at the time. And I ended up learning a lot about myself because you're playing on the back fields in spring training in the middle of the day, in Florida, in front of about five people, so it's really self-motivating.

"And that's kind of where I started to get the hang of pro ball and started believing in myself then. Because my first year was rough. My first year in Williamsport, had a terrible year. But, it ended up working out. It made for a lot of doubters. And it's fun proving people wrong."

Papale smiled and assured Stassi: "We call that the last laugh."