CLEARWATER, Fla. - Manager Charlie Manuel has been rewarded for the Phillies' recent success with a 2-year contract extension.
Don't be surprised if general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is the next to have his contributions recognized with a new deal. Sources said yesterday that an agreement is virtually done, lacking just the finishing touches.
Amaro took over a team that won the World Series in 2008 when he replaced the retiring Pat Gillick. The Phillies have reached the postseason each year since he took over, losing to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series and being upset by the Giants in the NLCS last year.
His tenure has been marked by bold moves that put some of the best players in baseball in Phillies pinstripes. His first high-profile acquisition was signing leftfielder Raul Ibanez as a free agent.
But he really began putting his imprint on the roster in July 2009 when he swapped four prospects to the Cleveland Indians for Cliff Lee. At the end of that season he acquired Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays while simultaneously trading Lee to Seattle.
Last year he got Roy Oswalt from the Astros and put the finishing touches on the Phillies' gold-plated rotation by bring Lee back as a free agent.
- Paul Hagen