Often news from the Winter Meetings is too complicated and frequent to sift through, so if you haven't been able to keep up, here are a few quick updates on the Phillies' dealings in Vegas:
- Charlie Manuel received a much-deserved contract extension that runs through 2011. The deal includes the Phillies picking up Manuel’s 2010 option and then signing him for 2011.
- Ruben Amaro Jr. has made it clear that the Phillies are only looking for one free agent starter, who will slide into a rotation that will also consist of Joe Blanton, Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, and another pitcher from within the organization.
- C.C. Sabathia, who didn't have much of a chance of becoming a Phillie anyway, has reportedly signed with the Yankees. This will reduce the market for Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett quite a bit.
- The Phillies are pursuing A.J. Burnett but it looks like the Braves are setting the bar with a four-year (with a vesting option for the fifth year) offer, and the Phillies are unlikely to match the length of the Braves' offer. Even if Burnett doesn't sign with the Braves, expect the Yankees to outbid the Phillies for his services.
- The Phillies reportedly have an offer out to Derek Lowe (supposedly for three years), but there seem to be quite a few factors working against the Phillies. Lowe made it clear that he didn't like Citizens Bank Park after pitching there in the NLCS, and he is hoping to get at least four-years, which the Phillies probably won't provide to a pitcher as old as Lowe.
- The Phillies have recently emerged as one of two teams pursuing Padres ace Jake Peavy, the other being the Cubs. The Cubs are heavily favored over the Phillies, but the Padres have said that they’ll take Peavy off the market altogether if a deal isn’t worked out by the end of the Winter Meetings.
The Phillies would still be part of a deal that sent Peavy to the Cubs, as they’d send prospects to the Padres and receive a player or two from the Cubs. Pitcher Jason Marquis and utility man Mark DeRosa have emerged as possible players the Phillies could get from the Cubs, and there have been talks of Kyle Kendrick being sent to the Cubs as part of a possible deal.
- Jamie Moyer remains the backup plan if the Phillies can't land a big-name starter, but his monetary demands are a bit high on the high side. The Phillies want him back, but it looks like re-signing him wouldn't be anything close to a slam-dunk.
- Pat Burrell is unlikely to return, as he wants at least three-years. The Phillies are unlikely to meet that demand.
- Raul Ibanez and the Phillies reportedly have "mutual interest", and reports are beginning to tag the Phillies as the front-runner for his services. Around half the teams in the majors have expressed interest in him.
- The Red Sox appear to be the on the verge of signing Rocco Baldelli, but if they can’t work out a deal the Phillies might try to sign him. Baldelli would be part of a platoon to help replace Pat Burrell.
- The Phillies reportedly have interest in outfielders Jermaine Dye (of the White Sox) and Delmon Young (of the Twins)