A few items to pass along as the Phillies begin their defense of five consecutive NL East crowns …
- Center fielder Shane Victorino, entering his final season before free agency, said there haven't yet been any negotiations between him and the Phils regarding an extension, but he said wants to remain in Philly, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. “I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” he said.
- Brad Lidge, now of the Nationals, said the Phillies reversed course after telling him that they wanted to re-sign him at the conclusion of 2011, according to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. GM Ruben Amaro told Brookover that the sides discussed a modest deal early in the offseason but moved on to other options when Lidge passed in favor of seeking closing opportunities elsewhere.
- Now that Cole Hamels has expressed a willingness to remain with the Phillies — and perhaps even sign at a hometown discount — the onus is on the club to secure the left-hander with a long-term contract, opines Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Rosenthal adds that even with an already hefty payroll, the Phils can afford Hamels, as they've already sold 3.1MM tickets for 2012.