If you thought the Yuniesky Betancourt news was huge…
While the pundits may have already handed the National League East crown to Washington or the newly double-Upton’d Atlanta club, the Philadelphia Phillies are not going to go quietly into the night. While Ruben Amaro may not have made the sort of suprise-Cliff-Lee signing splash so far this season, observers knew something was up when he first acquired Rangers Legend Michael Young to play third and Delmon Young, who was a top prospect as recently as some current college seniors were in high school. Seeing the rival club from Georgia taking advantage of brotherly love, well, that was just too much for Amaro to take. There was only one possible course of action. This leaked 2013 promo poster (exclusive to NotGraphs) tells the tale:
Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro is quite confident:
“Honestly, when we heard that Atlanta traded for Justin after signing his older brother earlier in the off-season, we felt like they were just pulling even with us. After all, in Michael and Delmon, we already had a brother-brother team. But we are all about winning here, and when we realized that Dmitri was available, we knew we had to have him, too. That three brothers to two. Suck it, Frank Wren.”
Amaro insists this goes beyond just clubhouse chemistry (Michael Young himself puts any team he is on over the top in that category, anyway).
“Look, interleague goes on all year now, and this team plans on going to the World Series, where we will have to play at least a couple of games in an AL park. People are always talking about how NL teams are at a disadvantage in AL parks because we don’t have players set aside for the DH. Well, as awesome as Michael and Delmon are in the field, their best position is definitely DH. That was always true of Dmitri, as well — heck, it probably runs in the family. We have is three of the most natural DHes in baseball, and that isn’t even counting Ryan Howard!”
Amaro obviously is no afraid to think out of the box on this one. He and his staff are eager to see how Dmitri can mentor not only his brother, but also youngsters like Roy Halladay and Chase Utley. More importantly, Dmitri has experience in the outfield, and having both Dmitri and Delmon on the outfield corners will allow Domonic Brown to get some much-needed seasoning in the minors rather than being rushed to the majors.
Score another one for Ruben Amaro. First Cliff Lee, now this. People around the team and who know how Amaro thinks say he may not be done. Brotherly love indeed — a certain someone better be checking his voice mail.
Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.