Monday, February 14, 2011
Posted: 4:12 p.m. Updated: 8:29 p.m.
By Jim SalisburyCSNPhilly.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. After more than two months of negotiations, the Phillies and manager Charlie Manuel have been unable to reach agreement on the contract extension that both sides had hoped to iron out long ago.
Money is the sticking point, according to Pat Rooney, who represents Manuel.
Charlie deserves to be paid as one of the top five managers in baseball, Rooney told CSNPhilly.com on Monday night. I dont want to negotiate through the media, but they know our position. Hopefully well have something by opening day.
Rooney declined further comment.
Earlier Monday, Phils general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked if he believed that Manuel deserved to be paid as one of the games top managers.
Im not going to get into our discussions, Amaro said. We dont talk about negotiations. Obviously we want to get it done. Wed like to keep Charlie. Hopefully well be able to get something done.
Manuel, 67, is signed through this season at 2.4 million. Sources say he is seeking a two-year extension worth about 4 million per season. That salary would be in line with Bostons Terry Francona and Detroits Jim Leyland, who will both make 4 million this season, according to sources. The Angels Mike Scioscia will make 4.5 million. The Reds Dusty Baker makes in the neighborhood of 3.7 million, according to sources. Tony LaRussas salary with St. Louis is a closely guarded secret.
Manuel has led the Phillies to 25 postseason wins the last four seasons, the most of any manager in the game since 2005.
Manuel said Monday that he was not disappointed by the pace of negotiations. But he did say he that hed like to have a deal by opening day.
Once the season starts I dont want to talk about my contract, he said. Hopefully something happens in spring training. I dont want it to be a distraction for the team. I definitely put my team first. The players and how we play is how I get a contract. This is the only time I want to talk about it. I want to stay focused on the season.
Amaro said he was not worried about Manuels status becoming a distraction, nor would he be troubled if Manuel went into the season as a lame duck.
Ill let other people worry about whether its a distraction, Amaro said. He added that if no agreement was struck, It wouldnt be the first time in the world a manager would go into a season without a contract extension. It wouldnt trouble me. It wouldnt trouble the players. Theyre pretty focused guys. Clearly none of us want this to be distraction and I dont think it will be. Like I said, wed like to be able to put this to bed, so well see.
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