Amaro believes Phillies can be contenders in 2014

Amaro believes Phillies can be contenders in 2014
January 16, 2014, 12:00 pm
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No matter how you spin it, the National League East figures to be a more competitive division in 2014. The Mets made some moves by signing Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon, the young and talented Braves will be a year older, the Nats have improved in several areas and the Marlins have a respectable lineup again.

But what about the Phillies? Philadelphia won just 73 games last year and hasn't posted a winning season since 2011. No one can deny their roster is talented, it's just old and hasn't been healthy in years.

That could all change this season, however, as GM Ruben Amaro sees a high ceiling for his club. 'If' they stay healthy, and that's a big 'if,' the Phillies can once again be contenders, so says Amaro.

Here is what he told the Philadelphia Inquirer:

If the club we believe is going to break camp is able to stay on the field, we’re a contending team,” Amaro said. “My job is for us to try to be a contending team every year. Our payroll should allow us to do that. We had a couple of crappy years because we couldn’t get guys on the field and couldn’t get the performances we’re accustomed to.

Philadelphia has a roster of players who have won before, it's just been a few years. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Cole Hamels were the core of a championship team in 2008. The same nucleus helped the Phillies win 102 games in 2011.

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There's no question they have the talent to contend, but staying healthy has been a real chore for the Phillies the last two seasons. It's not that it can't happen, it's just very unlikely.