Johan joins the Mets' MASH unit due to sore elbow

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It simply had to happen. The Mets had already lost Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and plenty of others. Now perhaps the most valuable player of all has gone down: Johan Santana has been scratched from his start Tuesday because of a sore elbow.
According to manager Jerry Manuel after today’s loss, Santana has been having issues with the elbow since at least the All-Star break. He was no longer throwing on the side in between starts, which probably helped lead to his inconsistency on the mound. He was still 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA in seven second-half starts, so he certainly wasn’t bad. However, he had allowed at least nine hits in four of those outings.
Santana will be examined on Tuesday. Even a somewhat favorable diagnosis that would result in him being shut down for 10-14 days might as well end his season.
The Mets are without any quality alternatives for the rotation because of all of their injuries. Pat Misch, who bailed out Oliver Perez by pitching four innings Sunday, figures to be in the mix, though he won’t be able to start in Santana’s place tomorrow. Journeymen Nelson Figueroa and Elmer Dessens are other options to fill in. The one semi-intriguing youngster in Triple-A is 24-year-old Tobi Stoner, who has gone 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA, 76 H and 50/29 K/BB in 76 2/3 IP since moving up to Buffalo. He projects as more of a middle reliever, but he’d now seem to have a realistic chance of picking up some starts this year.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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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.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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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.