By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
Ruben Amaro Jr. has never been one to shy away from unconventional thought and he proved that again on Tuesday, suggesting the possibility of a platoon in both corner outfield positions next season.
“We’re still trolling through the possibility of adding another piece [in the outfield]” Amaro said Tuesday. “And we’re also considering the possibility of going with a double platoon. That’s a possibility as well. We’ve done some things that have helped our club on a couple different levels, and I don’t think the process of trying to help our club ever stops.”
No other team in baseball used a similar platoon last year, but Amaro's options appear limited. Nick Swisher and Cody Ross highlight the current free agent outfield market, but the Phillies appear to have lukewarm interest at best. Ross, the more likely possibility, is looking for a three-year deal worth nearly $40 million - a contract too rich for Amaro's liking.
The platoon idea means Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Darin Ruf and Laynce Nix would all split time in the corner outfield positions.
“A lot of it depends on how we feel about that combination of players in the corners,” Amaro said. “Whether Darin Ruf can step up and be an everyday player, whether Domonic Brown can be an everyday player, whether John Mayberry can be an everyday player, or whether this combination – Laynce Nix as well – can constitute some type of platoon situation. We have talent there. How we maximize it, I’m not sure yet. If we have to go with those guys, if we feel like the other alternatives are not all that much better than what we have right now, there’s no reason for us to go out and do things that don’t make sense for us.”
Reports surfaced on Wednesday indicating the Phillies have an interest in acquiring outfielder Vernon Wells from the Angels, but the 34-year-old is owed $42 million over the next two years and appears to be on the decline. The club also has been linked to Alfonso Soriano, but he too is surrounded by question marks.
“I feel pretty comfortable with the way our club is today. But if there’s a way we can improve it -- not just marginally, but more than marginally -- we’ll do it,” Amaro said.