Phillies interested in righthander Maine

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"The Phillies right now have five starters so it’s clearly not something close to happening at all," John Maine's agent said. (Al Behrman/AP)

Don’t reserve a parking spot for righthander John Maine in the player’s lot at Bright House Field in Clearwater just yet.

Agent Rex Gary acknowledged he’s spoken to the Phillies about the 29-year-old who became a free agent when the Mets failed to offer him arbitration, but indicated that at least 15 teams have expressed some degree of interest and downplayed the notion that the defending National League East champions have separated themselves from the pack.

The story was first reported by ESPNNewYork.com.

Even at first glance, the idea was puzzling. Right now, the Phillies have Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. There have been persistent rumors that the team is willing to trade Blanton – who will make $8.5 million in 2011 and 2012 – in order to reduce a payroll that swelled when free agent Cliff Lee was signed.

“The Phillies are one of many teams we have spoken to about John Maine,” Gary said last night. “Certainly, the Phillies right now have five starters so it’s clearly not something close to happening at all.

“There’s nothing remotely close to happening with the Phillies.”

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