Rival executive says the Phillies are “trying to blow the whole thing up”

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Phillies CEO Pat Gillick admitted last month that the team isn’t likely to contend in 2015 or 2016. This puts them strictly on the rebound track. So it should come as no surprise that Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com heard from one rival executive at the general managers’ meetings today that the Phillies are “trying to blow the whole thing up” and “everyone is for sale.”

The comments from Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. today weren’t nearly as flashy and over-the-top, but he was honest about the team’s current state. With an eye toward the future, they are open to talking about anyone.

“We’re looking to improve in all areas,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said as he gathered with his counterparts for baseball’s annual general managers’ meetings Monday. “We’re looking to improve this year, but we’re more concerned with what we’re going to be doing down the road, improving down the road.

“Ultimately, you’d like to not have to take a step backward, but if that’s what we have to do for the longterm viability and sustainability of our club, that’s what we’ll try to do.

“Like I’ve said, we’re open to talk about anybody.”

Cole Hamels (with four years and $96 million remaining on his contract) is the Phillies’ best trade chip and would get their rebuilding effort off to a strong start. With that in mind, we heard yesterday that the Phillies are looking for “at least three top prospects” in return for the ace left-hander. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today that the Red Sox are on Hamels’ updated no-trade list, but ESPN’s Buster Olney hears that he could be traded to the Cubs without his consent. Both teams have prospects to deal. Hamels could ultimately use his no-trade clause as leverage for a team to pick up his $20 million option for 2019.