The Amaro Analysis: Free Agency

Ruben Amaro Jr. is feeling some heat for his struggling ballclub. To help you determine whether the heat is deserved or not, we're taking a look at Amaro's tenure. In this edition, we look at the free agents signed by Amaro during his tenure.

As we take a look at Ruben Amaro's tenure as the GM of the Phillies, we turn our attention to the free agent signings. In any GM's tenure, there are going to be good and bad signings. We leave it up to you to determine which side of the ledger Amaro comes out on.


December 16: Signed OF Raul Ibanez to a three-year, $31.5 million deal - While Ibanez wasn't the strongest defensive acquisition, he was a good find to play left field. In a corresponding move, the Phillies allowed Pat Burrell to leave via free agency and sign with Tampa Bay, the team that the Phillies had defeated in the World Series. Ibanez put up some pretty solid stats with the Phillies, while Burrell didn't come close to his career-type numbers during his stints with Tampa and San Francisco.


January 6: Signed RHP Chan Ho-Park to a one-year, $2.5 million deal - Park pitched in 45 games - seven as a starter - and finished the season with a 3-3, 4.43 ERA. When Park signed with the Phillies, it was with the agreement that they would give him a chance at starting, which they did. That experiment didn't go well at all and Park saw his ERA sit at 7.29 after seven starts and he was in the bullpen from that point on. Park's ERA as a reliever was a fancy 2.52, but he left after the season in pursuit of another opportunity to start.

February 16: Signed IF Miguel Cairo to a one-year, $500,000 deal - Cairo split his season between the majors and Triple-A, playing in just 27 games for the Phillies. When he played, he did a decent job and he wasn't too costly. They got just about what they paid for.

July 15: Signed RHP Pedro Martinez - Martinez signed mid-season and was guaranteed $1 million from the Phillies and another $1.5 million in incentives. After working through the minor league system, Martinez made his first start with the Phillies on August 12. Martinez wound up making nine starts for the Phillies and lasted just under five innings per start, but had a solid 3.63 ERA and helped get the Phillies back to the World Series. Unfortunately once in the World Series, Martinez was hit for four runs in four innings in Game Six and hasn't pitched in the majors since then.

November 20: Signed IF Wilson Valdez - Valdez initially signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, but wound up playing 210 games with the Phillies over two seasons. He also became somewhat of a fan favorite after filling in all over the infield and doing a decent job both defensively and offensively. Valdez' stint with the Phillies ended following the 2010 post-season when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for LHP Jeremy Horst.

December 1: Signed C Brian Schneider to a two-year, $2.75 million deal - Schneider was a local guy from Northampton, PA and fulfilled a dream by getting to play with the Phillies. Schneider hit just .208 in two seasons with the Phillies, but did a good enough job that they signed him for an extra year at $800,000 to get them through the 2012 season. He may have been a little pricey for a back-up catcher, but he generally did do a good job handling pitchers.

December 3: Signed IF Juan Castro to a one-year, $700,000 deal - Castro didn' t even make it through a full season with the Phillies before being released and signing with the Dodgers. He hit .198 in 54 games with the Phillies, which led to his unemployment. Again, a cheap deal, but the Phillies basically got little more than a warm body out of him.

December 14: Signed 3B Cody Ransom - Amaro signed Ransom as insurance and he did wind up playing in 22 games with the Phillies with two home runs - one of them a game-winner against Cincinnati - but he hit just .190 and spent most of his time in the organization playing with Lehigh Valley. This season, Ransom has played in 29 games with the Cubs and is hitting .272 with eight home runs.

December 16: Signed 1B/OF Ross Gload to a two-year, $2.6 million deal - When Amaro signed Gload, the plan was that he was going to be a big left-handed bat to bring off the bench. Ironically, Gload put up good numbers in his first season with the Phillies, although you wouldn't know it by looking at his stats as a pinch-hitter. Coming off the bench, Gload hit just .227 in 70 plate appearances. As a non-pinch-hitter, Gload hit .339 with the Phillies. Gload's numbers weren't as good in 2011 - although he did hit .243 off the bench - and it would wind up being his last season in the majors.


January 5: Signed P Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million deal - Baez didn't quite make it through his two-year deal with the Phillies, thanks to being released in August of 2011. Baez had some injury issues in the second season of the deal and never pitched well for the Phillies, posting a combined 5.81 ERA with the Phillies.

January 28: Signed P Jose Contreras to a one-year, $1.5 million deal - The Phillies became somewhat enamored with Contreras after he put up good numbers in 2010 with a 3.86 ERA in 17 games. He did have some injury issues, but nothing that was serious. After the season, Amaro signed Contreras to a two-year deal worth $5 million; that's where things fell apart. Contreras lost a considerable amount of time because of injuries and over his final two seasons with the Phillies, Contreras went 1-0 with a 6.27 ERA in just 24 games.

November 11: Signed IF Pete Orr - Amaro signed Orr to a minor league deal and re-signed him again following the 2011 and 2012 seasons, also to a minor league deal. Orr has played a combined 81 games with the Phillies in 2011 and 2012 and he's hit a combined .253 at the major league level. For what it's worth, Orr has been a big part of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and is credited by many young players as being a go-to-guy for advice and help.

December 1: Signed C Erik Kratz - Like Orr, Kratz was signed to a minor league deal, but he wound up playing in two games with the Phillies in 2011 and played in 50 games for the Phillies in 2012, most of which came filling in for an injured Carlos Ruiz. Kratz has played in 43 games at the major league level this season, but will miss considerable time with a knee injury. In his time with the Phillies, Kratz has hit a combined 17-48-.240/.299/.470 and has contributed well behind the plate.

December 15: Signed Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million deal - The debate rages as to whether the Phillies would have been able to sign Lee to a less costly contract had Amaro not dealt him to Seattle on the same day that he acquired Roy Halladay. It's likely that he would have signed for less, but how much less is the question. Lee has been a constant in the rotation, with his only struggles really coming in 2012 when he had little run support to help him. There are rumors that the Phillies might deal Lee for a second time, but we'll have to wait and see.


October 25: Signed LHP Raul Valdes - Amaro signed Valdes to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. He also re-signed with another minor league deal following the 2012 season. During his stint with the Phillies, Valdes has pitched both at the major league level and at Triple-A and he has also worked as both a starter and reliever at both locations, although he's relied upon primarily as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. Since being optioned out to Lehigh Valley earlier this season, Valdes has been in the starting rotation at Lehigh Valley, but that doesn't mean he'll be sticking as a starter.

November 5: Signed 1B/DH Jim Thome to a one-year, $1.25 million deal - With Ryan Howard going down with an Achilles injury in the 2011 post-season, Amaro hoped that Thome would be able to play some first base for the team, but his back simply didn't handle the wear-and-tear and he wound up on the DL. In late June, Thome was dealt to Baltimore where he would serve as a DH for the Orioles. The Phillies received C Gabriel Lino and P Kyle Simon in return for Thome.

November 14: Signed RHP Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal - Papelbon has pitched well, converting 38-of-42 save opportunities in 2012 and he was perfect in 2013, up until the last week when he has blown three save opportunities. With the way the Phillies are playing a top-notch closer is somewhat of a luxury and there are reports that the Phillies are shopping Papelbon, or at least listening to offers for him.

December 8: Signed OF Laynce Nix to a two-year, $2.6 million deal - Nix has been a decent bat off the bench and has found some playing time thanks to injuries and slumps. Again, Nix is one of those fairly low-risk signings and he's worked out pretty well as a bat off the bench, although his numbers are off this season.


January 27: Signed OF Juan Pierre to a one-year, $800,000 deal - Pierre was another low-risk signing and he produced decent numbers - .307, 37 stolen bases - with the Phillies. Defensively, he was somewhat of a risk, but the Phillies have seen worse in left field and his offense outweighed his defensive liability. The Phillies declined to re-sign him after the season and Pierre is now playing in Miami and hitting .246 with 18 stolen bases.

January 31: Signed P Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million deal - There's no denying that this signing was a bust. Qualls was simply horrible with the Phillies, posting a 4.60 ERA. The Phillies released him and he signed on with the Yankees and was even worse than he was in Philly. After being released by the Yankees, the Pirates gave him a shot and he was bad there. Ironic thing is that he is with the Miami Marlins and has a 3.00 ERA in 30 relief appearances. Go figure.

December 18: Signed LHP John Lannan to a one-year, $2.5 million deal - Lannan was pitching pretty well before going on the DL earlier this season. He's had two starts since coming off the DL, one that went pretty well and the other that was nowhere near being good. Lannan would be a real boost to the Phillies rotation if he could figure things out and find consistency.

December 20: Signed RHP Mike Adams to a two-year, $12 million deal - Adams started the season pitching pretty well, but went on the DL with a strained back. He returned and wasn't his old self and continued to struggle with nagging injuries before going back on the DL with right biceps tendinitis. It's looking like this could be a wasted $12 million.


January 22: Signed OF Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 deal - Young has become the lightning rod for all this is wrong with the Phillies. He started the season on the DL and hasn't put up any quality numbers since returning, plus, his defense in right field is beyond weak. Through 44 games, Young is hitting just .220 with six home runs. He's got plenty of incentive clauses in his contract, but it's unlikely he'll reach them not only because he's not hitting, but because it wouldn't be at all surprising if the Phillies were to cut him loose.

January 29: Signed RHP Chad Durbin to a one-year, $1.1 million deal - Talk about a bust. Durbin was cut loose at the end of May after posting a 9.00 ERA in 16 relief appearances. In the big picture, $1.1 million isn't a huge amount of money to lose on a player, but it starts to add up after you have a few of those deals go bad.

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