Joe Torre to manage through 2011

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We’ve all expected it for a while, and it isn’t yet official, but Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse reports that the Dodgers are finalizing a one-year extension with manager Joe Torre that will keep him in Los Angeles through 2011.

Torre, who turns 70 in July, signed a three-year, $13 million contract with the Dodgers after the 2007 season. Over his first two season in Los Angeles, Torre has led the Dodgers to consecutive National League West titles. Torre is 179-145 (.552) in Los Angeles and is fifth all-time with 2246 career wins.

Manny Machado will visit the Phillies, Yankees next week

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Manny Machado will meet with the Phillies’ brass in Philadelphia next week. George King of the New York Post, meanwhile, says that he may very well meet with the Yankees next week as well, in what is apparently an east coast tour. Beyond those two teams, the White Sox have expressed an interest in Machado and are expected to meet with him as well.

The other big star free agent is Bryce Harper, or course. He reportedly held court in a hotel suite a bit father north up the Las Vegas Strip from the Winter Meetings with his agent, taking meetings from officials from various teams. Proof, I guess, that meetings are not an immediate precursor to a signing.

At this point one wonders if the top two talents on the market will sign before Christmas.