It's still unclear whether the Phillies' interest in free-agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez is real or a ploy to pressure Jimmy Rollins into lowering his demand for a five-year contract.

But the Phils' interest in Ramirez is legitimate enough that front-office adviser Pat Gillick met face-to-face with Ramirez last month in the Dominican Republic.

Gillick performed several tasks on his trip, including scouting free agent Yeonnis Cespedes. The Phillies are unlikely to enter the bidding for the Cuban outfielder, who is seeking more than $30 million.