According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Charlie Manuel is reportedly close to a two-year extension that will pay him between $3.5 million and $4 million per season. The Phillies skipper said today that it could very well be announced before the weekend.
Manuel, 67, is now entering the final year of a contract extension he inked in just before the 2009 season. That contract was only worth $1.5 million annually.
This is 100 percent the correct move by the Phillies. Even if the team doesn’t think Manuel is worth the average salary of the top five highest paid managers in baseball, he’s earned the right to be in the conversation with his back-to-back World Series appearances.
When talks lingered here in Spring Training, people worried if the end of the line was near and if the team would meet the March 31 deadline imposed by Manuel and his agent, Pat Rooney. That deadline was merely to keep the talks from spilling over into the season and keep people like us from asking about it throughout the year (which probably would have happened anyway). Now that a new deal looks to be complete, each side can breathe a sigh of relief.
What comes next? When Manuel’s next extension is through, Ryne Sandberg could very well be his predecessor. Sandberg is the new manager of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and has made it known he wants a shot at the major leagues. In two years, it could very well be his time.
But for now, it appears Charlie is staying put.
UPDATE, Thursday, 8:50 am: Manuel has signed on the dotted line and will speak to the media at 10 am. here in Clearwater regarding his new deal. In a statement from the team, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said this: