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Phillies in hot pursuit of Ibanez

Updated: December 11, 2008, 5:06 PM ET
By Jayson Stark

The Phillies stepped up their efforts to sign Raul Ibanez on Thursday, according to one baseball man who had spoken with them.

Ibanez has been sending signals through friends that the Phillies are his top choice. And two high-ranking Phillies officials -- outgoing GM Pat Gillick and assistant GM Benny Looper -- know Ibanez well from their days in Seattle. One source described talks between the club and Ibanez's agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, as "heating up" and said the sides have made ...

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