CHICAGO -- As the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made one thing perfectly clear: Don't just get somebody. Get somebody who can make a real difference.
"I'm talking about a good one," said Manuel, who said the Phillies need both a right-handed bat and a relief pitcher. "If we can find a good bat and we don't get a good reliever, well, then we'll take the good bat. I want somebody good. If we're going to get somebody, I want somebody good. I want somebody that's going to help us. I don't want to get what we've already got."
It sounds like Manuel is thinking big.
"I always think big," he said.
The Phillies have indicated they might be unable to add a dynamic talent because of payroll issues and concerns about further depleting their farm system. But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has spent time recently in Clearwater, Fla., scouting a talented Class A pitching staff. The Phillies could decide to part with some of that promising talent. They also could decide to expand payroll at the last moment, which they have done in the recent past (i.e. Cliff Lee).
"There's some guys out there," Manuel said. "They're going to be hard to get. We'll see. Ruben and our front office, they do a pretty good job with that."