Interest remains mutual for Durbin, Phillies

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Chad Durbin and the Phillies are both mutually interested in getting a deal done. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

There is little left to happen in the 41 days before Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater. Any day now, J.C. Romero will take his physical in Philadelphia to complete a one-year contract. Another bench player may or may not be added before spring training.

Just about the only (mild) drama remaining is the case of Chad Durbin. The righthander, one of Charlie Manuel's dependable arms for the past three seasons, is still a free agent.

Much remains the same with Durbin. A baseball source said the Phillies have made a formal offer and Durbin's side countered with a new one. Negotiations are ongoing with the Phillies and several other teams interested in the pitcher.

Poll

Should the Phillies re-sign Chad Durbin?

Philadelphia is still Durbin's first choice. The question is whether both sides can come to an agreement on a salary. Durbin made $2.125 million in 2010 and is believed to be seeking a raise. The Phillies, who have a payroll north of $160 million, could decide money is limited for Durbin.

Last season, the 33-year-old had a 3.80 ERA and struck out 63 in 68 2/3 innings.

The Phillies have five spots locked up in the 2011 bullpen (presuming Romero passes his physical). There is still a need for a middle reliever who can pitch multiple innings -- the very role Durbin has filled before.

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