Following yesterday’s report that the Mets are interested in re-signing Carlos Delgado, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com notes that they may have some competition from the Orioles:
Carlos Delgado hasn’t started playing for Gigantes de Carolina of the Puerto Rican Winter League. The Orioles still intend to scout him later this month unless they find another first baseman.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if there’s a multi-team bidding war for Delgado, because it seems unlikely that any of his suitors will go beyond a one-year contract for a 37-year-old who missed all but 26 games last season and is coming off hip surgery. However, it’s looking more and more like Delgado won’t have to settle for an incentive-driven deal and may be able to secure more than $5 million in guarantees after making $12 million last season.
He hit .271/.353/.518 with 38 homers in 2008 and batted .298/.393/.521 before being shut down in mid-May this season, so if healthy Delgado still looks capable of making a big impact. By comparison, Orioles first basemen (mostly Aubrey Huff, Ty Wigginton, and Michael Aubrey) combined to hit just .262/.318/.411 with 18 homers this season, ranking 12th in the 14-team American League with a .729 OPS.
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.