Charlie Manuel and the Phillies are “close to agreeing on a contract extension” that Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports will be worth “between $3.5 million and $4 million per season” for two years.
Manuel is already under contract for $2.4 million this season, so a two-year extension would keep the 67-year-old managing the Phillies through 2013.
Salisbury notes that “negotiations have ebbed and flowed for weeks” and speculates that an official announcement could come within the next few days.
In seven seasons under Manuel the Phillies are 544-428 (.560) with four straight NL East championships, two NL pennants, and a World Series title in 2008. Toss in his three-year stint as Indians manager and Manuel’s career .553 winning percentage is the 20th-highest in MLB history among all managers with at least 1,200 games.
Not bad for a guy the Indians fired midway through his third year after back-to-back 90-win seasons. Cleveland hasn’t had back-to-back winning seasons since and has topped 90 wins just twice in eight post-Manuel years.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.