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Phillies talking extensions with trio

Phillies talking extensions with trio

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are trying to make sure their three players still eligible for salary arbitration never reach the arbiter's table.

They're also trying to keep them away from the arbiter's table and free agency next year and beyond.

The Phillies are talking to Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton and Carlos Ruiz about multiyear extensions, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday. CSNPhilly.com first reported Tuesday that Philadelphia was talking about a multiyear extension with Victorino. A source said Wednesday the club has been talking to Victorino about one-year and multiyear deals.

"I think we're making progress on all of them," Amaro said. "We're trying to work through it. We're hoping we can get these done."

A multiyear deal would buy out at least Victorino's final two years of salary arbitration. A three-year extension would buy out his first year of free agency in 2012.

The Phillies are offering $4.75 million to Victorino in salary arbitration. Victorino is asking for $5.8 million.

Blanton is eligible to become a free agent after this season, so if the Phils reach a multiyear agreement with him, it would keep him with Philadelphia at least through 2011. That would help the Phillies, who then would have Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Blanton in their rotation at least the next two seasons.

The Phils are offering $7.5 million to Blanton in arbitration. He is seeking $10.25 million.

Ruiz is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, so a multiyear extension likely would buy out his remaining three years of arbitration. Knowing Ruiz's salary the next two or three years would provide the Phils a clearer picture of how much they have to spend in other areas in the future.

Philadelphia is offering him $1.7 million. He is seeking $2.5 million.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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