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Phillies gearing up to pursue pitcher

Phillies gearing up to pursue pitcher

ST. PETERSBURG -- A little more than a month remains before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

And where are the Phillies exactly?

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"I think things will heat up late because everybody is still kind of in it," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said before Wednesday's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. "There's no real team bailing or stepping out of this thing. There's going to be a pretty vicious fight for probably two of the divisions in our league and the Wild Card. There are so many teams that are still involved. I don't expect that to change a whole lot in the next month, but it'll start to crystallize a little more into July."

It is well known that Philadelphia is looking for starting pitching help with right-hander Brett Myers expected to miss the remainder of the season after having surgery on his right hip. Numerous teams recently have scouted Pedro Martinez, who has not pitched this season. The Phillies are not interested in Martinez, but it shows just how few arms are available.

"The availability really isn't there," Amaro said. "The number of buyers and the number of sellers aren't close to equaling each other. It's always tough. You don't see a whole lot of pitching moved. How much pitching moved last year? Two? Three?"

The Phillies got one of them. They got right-hander Joe Blanton after pursuing left-hander CC Sabathia.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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