Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said earlier this week that, if his team didn’t show signs of improvement over the coming months, they could end up being sellers at the trade deadline. This statement coupled with reports that the Toronto Blue Jays have checked in with the Phillies regarding top players and free agents-to-be Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino has gotten the rumor mills churning. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported yesterday that the Phillies and Amaro may have an “ulterior motive” for exploring trade possibilities for Hamels and Victorino.
While the Blue Jays have reportedly touched base with the Phillies regarding Hamels and Victorino, this is nothing out of the ordinary. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is known as one who makes calls on team’s top talent not infrequently.
It also wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Amaro and the Phillies to field calls on Hamels and Victorino, especially considering both are set to become free agents after the current season.
However, Olney believes the Phillies and Amaro may have other motives for making public that they are considering trading players this deadline. In yesterday’s article, Olney said that Amaro could be trying to send a message to Hamels and Victorino, who are in the midst of contract talks with the Phillies.
Olney thinks that Amaro’s statements could have been made to put pressure on Hamels and Victorino in order for them to become more willing to work out a deal to remain with the Phillies. Both Hamels and Victorino have said that they would prefer to stay in Philadelphia, but it’s also being reported that the numbers being exchanged by the player’s representation and the Phillies remains far apart.
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