Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Think back to last offseason. Armed with a sizable budget, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. couldn’t contain himself.He just had to spend. Jonathan Papelbon was the fortunate benefactor of Amaro’s generosity. At the time, the deal was met with much criticism. Papelbon was, no doubt, a very talented closer with an established record of success. But the $50M deal Amaro gave him was the largest in guaranteed money ever given to a closer. Instead of waiting out the market, Amaro, in a fit of imprudence, had set it. As effective closers with a lesser pedigree signed much smaller deals, it became clear that the Papelbon deal was an overpay. Now think back to April 2010, when an overzealous Amaro gave Ryan Howard a massive contract more than two years before he would hit the open market. Once again, instead of waiting out the market for a player, Amaro had established it. What do these two deals have in common? Two things: First, they’re both viewed as bad contracts, not necessarily because the players aren’t productive, but because the deals are so large. Secondly, and more importantly for this conversation, they both exemplify a lack of patience on Amaro’s end–something fans have criticized the GM for with regularly in the last few seasons. This offseason, Amaro is seemingly learning from his mistakes. Here we are, in the middle of the Winter Meetings, and Amaro still hasn’t done a thing. Instead of haphazardly throwing money about, he’s being cautious in his spending, much like he did with Jimmy Rollins last year–a sensible contract that is recognized as one of the best under Amaro. He’s recognized that he has a limited budget and numerous holes to fill. Amaro should be lauded for this type of shrewdness. Somehow people don’t see it that way. His inaction thus far has been met with as much, if not more, ire from the fanbase as the Papelbon and Howard deals were. He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. But I ask you: Which deals have been struck so far that the Phillies have missed out on? $75M for B.J. Upton? Four years for Angel Pagan? $39M for Shane Victorino? A $20M, three-year deal for the 37-year old Marco Scutaro? A two-year, $16M deal for Melky Cabrera? I know it’s an expensive market and the game is thriving, but these aren’t exactly moves I’m clamoring to make. I don’t see the appeal in any of them, frankly. Let the other teams have these guys at those prices.While the Amaro clearly has needs, he shouldn’t fill them at the expense of a bad contract, either in dollars or in length of commitment. Are there some moves that have been made that leave me wondering? Sure. The Angels signing of Ryan Madson for $3.5M looked like a great fit for the Phillies. But who knows if Madson was willing to deal with Amaro after last offseason’s drama? I like the Rangers’ deal with Joakim Soria, but there are still bullpen options out there (Brian Wilson, for one). The Nationals acquisition of Denard Span seemed sensible, given that they only had to trade away one prospect. But, while he’s a great defender, I’m not in love with Span’s bat. It’s not as though he is a game-changer. The Phils can still find a comparable piece to Span, either through trade or on the open market. I think that’s really the point. There are still plenty of options out there. The Phils have been linked to both Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn. In the past, one of those guys would be signed by Amaro already. This year, he’s waiting for the price to fall or saying no thanks. He’s waiting for the right guy to come along at the right price. This is unquestionably the philosophy with which he should operate. There are still two months left in this offseason and plenty of time for Amaro to find the right guys. And, hey, look on the bright side: If you’re still not convinced that patience is the way to go, giving Hamilton a seven-year, $150M contract is still an option.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

Philly store offering Eagles 'jersey insurance'

Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Pacquiao had injured shoulder, considered postponing fight

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision


Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

Packers trade up to draft Brett Hundley

Greg Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Brooklyn Decker expecting first child with Andy Roddick

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

A-Rod hits 660th home run, ties Willie Mays

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Celebrities make their picks

Ryan Succop offers to arm-wrestle Marcus Mariota for No. 8

Laila Ali rips Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.