Ruben Amaro Jr. called it a baseball decision. Roy Halladay said it was a dream come true. Cliff Lee? Well, he wasn’t consulted.
Yesterday, the Phillies introduced Halladay as their new ace. In a twist of fate, he’ll wear Lee’s old No. 34.
“We could have kept both of them [Lee and Halladay], but it was a baseball decision for me and our organization and the people in the organization,” Amaro said. “We could not leave the cupboard bare.”
Amaro was referring to emptying his farm system. The Phillies GM said if he hadn’t included Lee in the deal, then he would’ve lost seven of the team’s 10 top prospects. Instead, they traded three of their rising stars for three of Seattle’s best minor leaguers. Amaro also refuted reports that Double-A stud Kyle Drabek was untouchable.
“I don't know if I ever said anyone was untouchable,” Amaro said. “What I said was someone was more touchable than others. To acquire someone of this caliber, you are going to hurt your system and it should.”
Once Amaro showed interest, the contract extension — three years at a reported $60 million — kind of worked itself out.
“This is where I wanted to be,” Halladay said. “That was the bottom line for us. It was an easy decision.”