Rival executives and agents say that Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro is being very aggressive in pursuit of a center fielder and plans to work quickly, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd). Amaro knows Michael Bourn well, but agent Scott Boras likes to wait and let the market percolate. The Phillies may make B.J. Upton their plan B if they can't land Bourn. The club has been doing a lot of background work on Upton, asking questions about his personality and whether he would be a good fit in that market. Here's more out of the NL East..
- The Braves sensed that David Ross might land a lucrative two-year deal elsewhere and have been checking out other backup catchers on the open market in recent weeks, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. The Red Sox came to terms on a two-year, $6.2MM deal with Ross earlier today.
- Nationals reliever Sean Burnett has a case for a three-year deal in the mold of Scott Downs, but some at the GM meetings have wondered aloud if he may be in line for a four-year pact, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith.
- Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr is widely viewed as the top candidate to take over for manager Davey Johnson after 2013, but Knorr believes that Johnson could have a change of heart and choose to manage beyond next season, writes Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. Yesterday, Johnson and the Nats agreed to a one-year deal that will turn the skipper into a consultant in 2014.