Phillies, Charlie Manuel making progress towards contract extension

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Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said a couple weeks back that he doesn’t want to talk about extending his expiring contract if a deal can’t be worked out before Opening Day. As if there was any doubt, we probably won’t have to worry about that deadline.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Manuel’s agent Pat Rooney had an hour-long meeting with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro earlier today.

“It was productive,” Rooney told CSNPhilly.com after the session. “We’re getting closer. There was some give and take. Both sides made some movement, but we’re still a little ways away. They know our position so we’ll keep working on it.”

Rooney added that he left the talks feeling “hopeful” that a deal can be worked out by Opening Day.

Manuel has done just about everything right during his six-season tenure in Philadelphia, so an extension is something of a no-brainer. He has led the Phillies to a 544-428 record (.560) during the regular season, including four straight division titles, two NL pennants and a World Series championship in 2008.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.