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Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Mariners asking a lot for Putz

Clubs that have spoken to Seattle report that the Mariners haven't discouraged teams that asked about J.J. Putz. But the asking price is hefty. And two of the clubs that were initially interested -- the Mets and Indians -- have since moved in other directions (i.e., Francisco Rodriguez and Kerry Wood, respectively). Another team that has asked about Putz: Detroit.

• The Phillies and manager Charlie Manuel continue to work toward a three-year extension, as first reported this week by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"We're still working on it," Manuel's agent, Pat Rooney, told "They want to do something. So we'll see what they do."

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. wouldn't address the negotiations directly, saying: "I don't really want to discuss his status. All I can tell you is, we want Charlie to be our manager for years to come."

• Baseball people who have spoken with the Phillies say that, while the Phillies have interest in acquiring Mark DeRosa as part of the multiteam Jake Peavy extravaganza, they have no plans to tread water to see if that deal goes down.

They continue to express interest in free agent Raul Ibanez. And one friend of Ibanez's said the outfielder told him the Phillies are his first choice.

• Meanwhile, the Cubs wouldn't be interested in trading DeRosa unless they first acquired a left-handed-hitting outfielder, who, ironically, might also turn out to be Ibanez. The Cubs are trying to balance their lineup. So adding a left-handed hitter in the outfield and installing left-handed-hitting Mike Fontenot at second base in place of DeRosa would accomplish that.