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Phillies rumors: Amaro more likely to pursue free agents over trades

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has participated in a "significant amount" of talks with other teams and agents at the GM meetings.

Chris Trotman

Major League Baseball's general managers meetings are just getting underway, and already Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has started a "significant amount" of communication between other teams and player agents, according to a report by Matt Gelb of on Thursday.

In the report, Amaro said he prefers to make additions to his team through free agency as opposed to working out a trade. With center fielders, the team's stated need, such as B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, and Angel Pagan all free agents this offseason, Amaro is considering his options:

"We have some flexibility. I guess I would anticipate our payroll being similar to last year. I'd rather pay for the player than trade for the player. The tricky part about that is you better pay for the right guy. When you pay for those guys, you just don't know how they'll play in Philadelphia."

The Phillies finished the 2012 season at 81-81, good for third place in the National League East division. Six players - including Shane Victorino, John Mayberry and Nate Schierholtz - played center field for Philadelphia at one point or another last season.