* Assistant general manager Gord Ash revealed yesterday that the Brewers were in talks with the Indians for Mark DeRosa before he was traded to the rival Cardinals.
“They didn’t feel like we had the type of players they were looking
for,” Ash said. “The big thing will be who the second player is. I
would imagine it’s a pretty good player.”
* Seattle’s high Single-A team scored 18 runs last night … and lost by 15. Seriously. If you’re in need of a good laugh, check out the boxscore.
Every batter in Lake Elsinore’s lineup had multiple hits and six of the
nine guys had at least four hits in a game that featured 10 homers and
56 total hits.
* He’s allowed 15 run in 13 innings this season after going 9-14
with a 6.05 ERA last year, yet Brandon Backe was “shocked” by the
Astros designating him for assignment over the weekend.
* According to Shawn Estes, he’s not actually retired,
but rather “retired from Triple-A.” Which seems a bit like me saying,
“I’m not actually single, just unwilling to date non-supermodels.”
* Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that not all no-hitters are created equal.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.