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.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.