In short, he does the opposite of what he should do.
It was evident in the Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay trade (since rectified with the twin-acknowledgments that it was a mistake with the acquisition of Roy Oswalt a year ago and the re-signing of Lee as a free agent last winter), and it is so now with the trade for Hunter Pence.
Pence is a good player and he’ll help the Phillies; but when you’re trading two of your top prospects along with two other young players, I’d think you could do better than a “good” player.
I’d think that such a swap—tweaked when necessary—would bring back a star player along the lines of Hanley Ramirez.
But Amaro focused on Pence and got him. I give him credit for doing what he thinks is right in execution, not in theory.
If you compare what other clubs have acquired when they’ve traded their top prospects—specifically the Red Sox with the deal they made last winter in getting Adrian Gonzalez—reason dictates that the Phillies could’ve gotten a better player than Pence in a deal centered around Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart.
Pence is under team control for the next 2 1/2 years and he fills a void in the Phillies lineup; Gonzalez was a free agent after 2011 before the Red Sox signed him to a $154 million extension to prelude free agency, so the Phillies have more certainty with Pence, but you can’t place the two in the same category on the field.
Amaro targets and acquires.
Sometimes that’s good as it was with Lee and Oswalt.
Sometimes it’s okay as it was with Raul Ibanez and the lateral move for Halladay (as great as he’s been) at the expense of Lee.
Sometimes it’s wrong as it was when he traded Lee for Halladay.
And sometimes it’s questionable as it is now with Pence.
No matter what happens with the Phillies from here on, they could’ve gotten more for Singleton and Cossart if they’d looked elsewhere and/or waited.