Phillies GM Ruben Amaro will let 10-game homestand define team’s fate

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In a column posted earlier, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly wrote about Phillies GM Ruben Amaro using his team’s ten-game homestand leading into the All-Star break as the defining factor in the team’s “buyer” or “seller” status. After tonight’s opener, a victory against the Braves, they stand at 42-45, 7.5 games behind the first place Braves.

“This homestand is very important,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before Friday night’s game. “We’ve got to play well to stay in contention, clearly. I think we’ll know a lot more about this team after this homestand.”

Could the makeup of the team change if the Phillies don’t have a good homestand?

“It could,” Amaro admitted. “It could. I hope we’re adding to this club rather than subtracting. That’s the goal, but as I always say and I’ve been saying, the players will dictate it.

“These next 10 days are big.”

The team’s biggest trade chips are second baseman Chase Utley (a free agent after the season) and starter Cliff Lee. Both have limited no-trade clauses and would have to waive them before moving to certain teams. Catcher Carlos Ruiz, third baseman Michael Young, outfielder Delmon Young, and starter Roy Halladay will become free agents after the season, making at least the first three attractive to contending teams in search of a second-half upgrade.

The Phillies’ Minor League system has enjoyed big seasons from pitcher Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco. Along with recent first round draft pick J.P. Crawford, their system is in better shape now than it was to start the season. Still, the Phillies could use some more young, projectable talent as it enters a transition phase, an issue easily resolved over the next three and a half weeks.

Report: Brewers to sign Brock Holt

Brock Holt
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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers have signed infielder Brock Holt. Contract details are not yet known.

Holt, 31, spent most of the last six years as a part-time player with the Red Sox, playing a little bit of a lot of positions. Last year, he hit .297/.369/.402 with 19 extra-base hits, 31 RBI, and 38 runs scored in 295 plate appearances. He spent a majority of his time at second base but also logged time at first base, shortstop, third base, and both corner outfield spots.

It will be interesting to see how the Brewers deploy Holt. His best chances at playing time would figure to be at third base and shortstop.