NASHVILLE - When the Boston Red Sox finalized a three-year deal on Tuesday with Shane Victorino, 32, and fresh off a career-worst season, their winter shopping-spree bill increased to $120.2 million. The Phillies, standing on the periphery of a crazed winter meetings, have spent a total of $850,000.
It's not that sticker shock has overcome GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and his lieutenants. "But," Amaro said, "it seems like the price of doing business is getting higher and higher."
So the Phillies are content to watch - for now. Late in the afternoon, Amaro kicked off his shoes, tapped away at his iPhone, and lounged on a couch in the team's suite at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
He did not act like a man pressured to make a move before he leaves Thursday.
"I guess it's possible," Amaro said. "One day you think you have a deal done, and 30 minutes later it's off."
The reality is that the Phillies are stuck. They are unwilling to meet the demands of free agents. The trade market, in turn, is just as pricey. That left a few Phillies officials sauntering through the lobby with only one word to say: "Nothing."
Amaro said he talked Tuesday with agents and executives from other clubs.
"It makes you concentrate on developing your own players," Amaro said. "There's still some valuable players out there to be had and would fit into what we're trying to do."
The Phillies, of course, have dealt away much of their top young talent in recent years while fueling the machine in South Philadelphia. Amaro reiterated his hesitancy to trade more. The Phillies possess a surplus of young pitching at the double-A level and above, but none are considered top-notch prospects. Catching depth is also a strength.
The most valuable chip is probably Vance Worley, who would be a cheap alternative to teams searching for pitching in a market with little supply and heavy demand. Worley, 25, has a career 3.50 ERA in 46 starts. He is done rehabbing from September surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow.
"He's 100 percent - but that's for us," Amaro said. "He's our four or fifth starter. That's where I view Worley."
The Phillies never seriously considered a reunion with Victorino. He'll become the Red Sox rightfielder for the princely sum of $39 million over three years. His contract, which made him the latest outfielder to fly off the free-agent market, says plenty about the current climate.
Victorino's numbers over the last three years compared almost identically to those of Angel Pagan, who signed a four-year, $40 million deal with San Francisco. The Phillies were interested in Pagan.
Michael Bourn is the lone true centerfielder remaining on the market and the Phillies are not yet willing to meet the demands of his agent, Scott Boras. Bourn was said to be seeking a deal larger than B.J. Upton's five-year, $75.5 million contract. This whole process could be a long march toward an agreement with Bourn, whose potential suitors are limited.
Cincinnati is searching for a leadoff hitter and multiple reports indicated Boras met Tuesday with Seattle to discuss Bourn. Amaro said he has not met with Boras in Nashville and added: "But I wouldn't tell you if I did."
And the wait continued another day.
Extra bases. Amaro said the Phillies could take a player in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. They have the 16th pick. . . . Paul Hagen, a former Daily News baseball writer, was named winner of the 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award and will be honored in July at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.