Ruben Amaro Jr. strikes again. In another curious move by the Philadelphia Phillies GM, 36-year-old outfielder Marlon Byrd was signed to a two-year deal worth a whopping $16 million.
Not bad for a guy that was playing on a minor league deal not too long ago. It’s like Amaro Jr. is bent on fixing his previous mistakes. Byrd, of course, used to be part of the Phillies organization a long while back. It’s not that Byrd hasn’t put up solid numbers in the past few years, because he has. What is of concern is his age at 36, and this organization’s seemingly short-term approach.
It’s no wonder Amaro Jr. has taken on the moniker “Ruining Tomorrow Jr.” It’s another classic example of him missing out on the long-term picture. With this signing, the Phillies have to be in the conversation for oldest team in the entire league. Practically their entire roster is littered with guys in their early to mid-30s.
It’s an unacceptable way to build a baseball team. Look at the successful organizations. The St. Louis Cardinals are a perfect example. They are loaded with home-grown players that are young and producing. It has turned them into a powerhouse in the NL. They have drafting and acquiring international talent down to a science. The Cardinals don’t even really need to dip their toe in free agency, and they have continued to be an elite ball club even with the departure of Albert Pujols.
The Phillies are the complete opposite. They have been beyond poor at developing their own talent save for a few players here or there, and always seem to make the most head-scratching moves in the winter. Add this to the list. I am afraid the Phillies will be mired in mediocrity until Amaro Jr. is relieved of his duties.