Amaro anticipates professional approach from Phils' veterans

Amaro anticipates professional approach from Phils' veterans

PHILADELPHIA -- It is going to be an interesting spring in Clearwater, Fla.

Expectations for the Phillies are low, but there are plenty of storylines to follow beginning next Thursday, when Phillies pitchers and catchers hold their first workout at the Carpenter Complex. The organization is trying to build for the future -- the front office is hoping to be competitive again in 2017 or 2018 -- which means most of the veterans in camp expect to be traded at some point.

It could foster an uncomfortable situation in camp.

On one hand, there will be young players working to develop their skills to get a foothold in the big leagues. They hope to be part of the Phillies' future. On the other hand, there are veterans like Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley, who either know the front office wants to trade them or know they want to be traded.

In most cases, it is both.

"We still have some very good players on this club," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday afternoon. "I think it's an exciting time to be a young player on our club. I think it could be an exciting time for the veterans, because if the veterans feel like they'd be better off other places, all they have to do is play really, really well and it'll give them an opportunity to do that.

"I don't have any issues at all, and I don't have any concerns about how veteran guys on our club will go about their business. They're professional. They know what it takes to be successful, and I fully expect them to be prepared for this season and to play to the best of their abilities."

Amaro said he does not expect to make any trades before camp opens, which means there will be a handful of veterans answering the same questions about still being in a Phillies uniform and sharing their thoughts about being in a Phillies uniform on Opening Day and beyond.

"I completely expect them to honor their contracts," Amaro said. "That's the type of people they are. They're prideful and I know they're going to prepare themselves the way they've always prepared for their season regardless of what rumors are swirling."

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