LAKE BUENA VISTA - Other than signing Zach Miner to a minor league contract a year ago, the Phillies have done little business with super agent Scott Boras since they spurned one of his clients, Ryan Madson, in favor of Jonathan Papelbon two winters ago.
But Boras does represent one player on the current Phillies roster, a player who could have the brightest future among those on the 40-man roster: Domonic Brown.
Brown isn't in line for a contract just yet. He's not arbitration eligible for the first time until next winter and he cannot became a free agent until after the 2017 season.
But Brown's name has popped up plenty in trade rumors throughout the years, including this winter.
"When you have breakout young players that teams have control over long term, I think it's pretty customary teams are gonna to be interested in them," Boras said yesterday afternoon at Walt Disney World's Swan and Dolphin Resort. "Anybody with 20-plus home run power these days - there are like 40 players in the league. That's a little more than one a team. If you hit 27 home runs like Domonic did, clubs are going to pay attention and try to acquire those assets."
For their part, the Phillies say they're not looking to subtract players like Brown - young, productive and under club control - but trying to add more of those kinds of players.
But then there's the smoke-fire theory - meaning there wouldn't be as much talk unless there was substance to that talk. No matter what the Phillies plans are with Brown, Boras believes the All-Star outfielder won't be negatively affected by the chatter.
"I think that they've got a direction on what they want to do, and clearly they want to win now, there's no doubt about that," Boras said. "I always tell players when you're under control of a club you just sit back and listen and I'll let you know, but usually you're going to end up in a good place if it happens."
Rule 5 draft
The Phillies have two of the first seven picks for this morning's Rule 5 draft - but they're only expected to make one pick.
The team was awarded the Chicago Cubs' pick last week after winning a grievance.
In 2011, the Cubs selected pitcher Lendy Castillo away from the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft, but had the pitcher on the disabled list for a large portion of the season. Such "stashing" of Rule 5 players is not acceptable: Rule 5 players must stay on the active major league roster for at least 90 days in a season. The Cubs had Castillo on the roster for 92 days.
The Phillies are likely to use the Cubs' selection - fourth overall - but pass on their own pick. Since Rule 5 players have to stay on major league rosters for the duration of the season, it's almost impossible for a team to use two of its 25 spots on the roster on fringe players.
In recent years, the Phillies have selected Michael Martinez, David Herndon and Ender Inciarte in the Rule 5 Draft. Two of the best Rule 5 selections in Philies history: Shane Victorino and Dave Hollins.
Despite tendering a contract to John Mayberry Jr. last week, the Phillies are looking to upgrade their outfield depth, particularly in the form of players who can play centerfield and bat from the right side.
Amaro said there's "not a lot" of players fitting that bill on the free-agent market. He could look for an answer through a trade.
Among centerfielders who have had their names circulated on the rumor mill recently: Detroit's Austin Jackson, Miami's Justin Ruggiano and Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees.
But a team that might match up the best is the Cleveland Indians. According to a foxsports.com report, Cleveland is looking to deal from a surplus of outfielders that includes Michael Bourn, David Murphy, Ryan Raburn, Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley and would be willing to listen to offers for any of those players.
Bourn, Brantley and Stubbs have all played considerable time at centerfield in their career. Stubbs may be the best fit as the only righthanded hitter of that trio.
Stubbs, 29, a better defensive player than Mayberry, is arbitration eligible after making $2.825 million last season. A career .239 hitter, Stubbs hit 22 home runs in 150 games with Cincinnati in 2010.