Amaro points to payroll to brush off rumors

Amaro points to payroll to brush off rumors

Amaro points to payroll to brush off rumors
The Phillies' payroll is maxed out, meaning they can't add an infielder to help make up for the loss of Chase Utley. At least that's what Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB Network Radio on Monday.

"I don't know how many times I can say that publicly -- I have no money to play with," Amaro told host Jim Duquette. "Our payroll is going to be over $160 million or so, and I'm tapped out, my friend. Maxed out."

Of course, Amaro has said that before -- most notably before he pulled off this offseason's biggest surprise by signing Cliff Lee. But at the Lee news conference, the Phillies' general manager talked about going outside his budget to bring in another ace pitcher.

So regarding rumors about the Phillies acquiring insurance for Utley?

"All [nonsense], my friend," Amaro told the station. "Just so you know."

Amaro could, however, clear $17 million if they trade fifth starter Joe Blanton, though his name hasn't come up in rumors lately.

Utley is sidelined indefinitely with patellar tendinitis, chondromalacia and bone inflammation in his right knee. The Phillies are expected to go with Wilson Valdez until Utley is ready.