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Odds & Ends: Papelbon, Manuel, and Asche in Left

A lot of news and notes coming from Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly today. First, Salisbury quotes Ruben Amaro as saying “things are still alive” in reference to a potential Jonathan Papelbon trade. Salisbury notes Papelbon’s contract, which includes an easy-to-vest $13 million 2016 option, is one deterrent preventing teams other than the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays from becoming serious suitors.

Salisbury also reported that Charlie Manuel will be one of eight guest instructors joining the club in Spring Training, joining Mike Schmidt, Aaron Rowand, Dan Pleasac, and others.

Salisbury reported earlier in the day that the much-speculated “Cody Asche to the outfield” experiment has begun. Asche is taking reps in left field in Clearwater weeks before players are required to report to camp. As Salisbury notes, Asche has played second base while in the Phillies system and has taken reps at first base and left field at different points through his career. Maikel Franco hit .337 with four homers and 16 RBI in the Dominican Winter League and may play Asche into a new position with a strong Spring despite Amaro’s assertions that Asche is the club’s third baseman.

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