Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told ESPN on Friday that the team has no plans to trade pitchers Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels or Jonathan Papelbon, despite struggling.
A day after Lee expressed frustration over how the past two seasons have gone for the Phillies, Amaro said he was frustrated, too, but said he had "no desire" to sell off his best pitchers to build for the future.
"They're all rumors, and we don't comment on rumors," Amaro said. "But I don't see what the benefit would be to our organization to trade those players. They're players we've got who can help us win. And we're better off with them than without them."
Lee has a no-trade clause in his contract and has been the subject of trade rumors since last year's deadline. He is 8-2 with a 2.55 ERA this season.
When asked after Thursday's win over the Minnesota Twins if he wanted to stay in Philadelphia if the team is not a contender, Lee was non-committal.
"I definitely want to win," he said. "There's no doubt about that. I want to win. I don't know how to say it besides that. I want to win."
Hamels, also a left-hander, has significant trade value despite a 2-9 record and 4.45 ERA this year. He has a career 3.41 ERA and is 29 years old.
Papelbon, 32, is in the second year of a four-year contract worth $50 million. He also has a vesting option for 2016. He as 12 saves and a 1.52 ERA this season. He has 269 career saves.
"People would like us to improve our club, but at what cost?" Amaro said. "You have to have replacement pieces if you're going to trade someone like (Papelbon). And we don't have a guy who I consider a closer on our club, other than Papelbon. He's the best we've got, and one of the best in baseball, if not the best."
The Phillies entered Friday 32-35, 7 1/2 games behind the National League East division-leading Atlanta Braves.