GM Meetings Day 3: Cleaning out the notebook

It is 9:34 a.m. here on the West Coast. We have approximately 28 hours left in our time here at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. It will be interesting to see if anything goes down today across the league as far as trades go.

Today in the paper we took a look at the Phillies' options should they fail to re-sign Pat Burrell. You can get the whole story here.

As the day gets underway here, I thought I'd clean out some odds and ends from my notebook that failed to get into the paper yesterday.

1) The Phillies don't expect to see any more departures from the baseball operations department. There was a school of thought that held that Mike Arbuckle's departure would spark a mass exodus from the scouting department. But Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday he expects all the major players to return. Chuck Lamar, Gordon Lakey, Marti Wolever -- all are expected to remain.

Asked how he viewed the importance of keeping the organization together, Amaro responded, "Very important."

"We feel very comfortable about our staff and the scouting people, the pro scouting staff," Amaro said. "They've done a heck of a job for us and it's important for us to keep it together."

2) A contract extension for Charlie Manuel is not a priority at this point, but it could happen in the future. Manuel signed a two year, $3 million extension last offseason, but a club option would keep him in Philadelphia through 2010.

"Charlie is signed through 2009 and he's got an option on him," Amaro said. "We'll have some discussions about that at some point when it is appropriate, but we've got a lot of other fish to fry right now."

3) Though he said he did not have an idea of what the Phillies total payroll would be for 2009, he said the team would be flexible. They spent roughly $103 million this season, including salaries on the books for Jim Thome and Wes Helms.

"Our budget adjusts as we go," he said. "If we have a need and David Montgomery feels like that need, regardless of whether it is north of the 'budget,' we have had leeway in the past to do some things.

4) I thought it was a real classy move for Manuel to fly out to the West Coast to inform Steve Smith face-to-face that he would not be retained. Granted, Manuel also met with Amaro about baseball issues. But there are a lot of managers in a lot of various businesses who would not have felt the need to look Smith in the eye.  I think that speaks a lot about Manuel's character.

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