Ruben Amaro brushed off any Cole Hamels trade talk with a broom of ceramic bristles Monday.

Said Amaro, when asked about a Jon Heyman over-the-weekend report: "These aren't things we discuss or talk about in front of other people. But our goals are always the same. Our goal is to try to continue to contend this year, to try to win the National League East. If we can't do that, we want to be a playoff club. ... Our other goal, frankly, is to keep Hamels in our uniform, short term and long term."

When asked if he believes re-signing Hamels is still realistic: "I do."

"I have no indication to think otherwise, that's why."

"Those are things we'll deal with at the appropriate time."

Here's where it starts to get juicy. (And start literally bleeding with (presumed) deceit.)

"A lot of these rumors are product of the timing and way we're playing. This is what happens in July. You have a team that's not playing very well and we have very good players. We are going to get these types of rumors out there. I just want to make sure people understand where we stand."

That, insofar as we're concerned, is a pretty adamant denial of truth. Calling a story citing insider information that Amaro had put in calls to other MLB clubs -- not that there was a deal imminent, not that X player was going to Y city for Z set of prospects, but that Amaro had picked up the phone and started pushing buttons -- a "rumor" and lumping it in with an annual subset of rumors you're telling us we shouldn't really give a lot of merit to, is basically saying Jon Heyman's report has holes. Big ones.

That aside: Wouldn't Amaro be remiss not to put out a few feelers? Wouldn't that be as terrible business as the Yankees not phoning around to see the value of the franchise after the Dodgers sold for $2 billion? Isn't that the primary function of Kelly Blue Book, to let people know how much their assets (cars) are worth at the click of a button? Isn't that (in baseball) hopping on the horn and floating Hamels' name out there, just to see what happens? Isn't that what Amaro's doing here? What he should be?

We nod.

Whether you think he should make a deal or not, it's Amaro's responsibility to make sure he's making informed decisions at all times. Knowing Hamels' market value on July 2, 2012 is pretty "Vital Information For His Everyday Life." Kudos to him for brushing up on it.

Especially since dealing Hamels doesn't necessarily mean losing him.

Writes Matt Gelb Monday: "If Hamels is dealt, he will likely not agree to an extension with his new team. The chance to test the market will be overwhelming."

And ultimately bring Hamels back into the fold for the Phillies, the team he loves to love.

Imagine if Amaro dealt Hamels this summer, only to re-sign him as a free agent of another team in the winter. Wouldn't that be the haul of the century? Ruben Amaro, passing off Hamels to some deep-pocketed American League team that would have to assume (you'd have to) that whatever rental time they had him for might help influence Hamels' decision come free agency, in exchange for the farm system seeds the Phillies organization so sorely needs, only to re-sign Hamels at the end of the season, fueling short-term ecstasy and long-term stability all in one, fell, awesomely arrogant swoop?

(Even though dealing Hamels could also mean that the organization has thrown in the towel, on not only the immediate, but also the not-too-distant future, too.)

If only.