"It was productive," Manuel's agent Pat Rooney told Salisbury after an hour-long meeting with general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. "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."
Manuel is 67 years old and is looking for a two-year extension. Under his current contract, which expires after the upcoming season, Manuel will make $2.4 million, but he and his agent believe he's worthy of a salary that would make him one of the top-five highest-paid managers in the league.
In order for that to happen, Manuel would have to make about $4 million per season, a number I find more than reasonable for a guy who has led his team to four straight division titles, two World Series appearances, and one win.
The Phillies have become the powerhouse we've come to know under Manuel, so it's easy to make the case that he's one of the top five best managers in the game.
And, eventually, the Phillies management will realize that and give him the number he's asking. It's certainly not unreasonable, and they need him to stick around for as long as possible.
Phillies fans have a generally positive view of Amaro because he will go out and get guys like Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, etc., but allowing Manuel to walk after the season could wipe all that away.
Manuel and his agent are sticking to their opening day deadline to get a deal done, but it wouldn't surprise me if a deal is done long before that, probably sometime in the next two weeks. Amaro's a smart guy; I don't see him allowing this to drag on and be a story throughout the season.