Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has been following the Adrian Gonzalez situation pretty closely this winter, but recent talks between the Red Sox and Padres are going nowhere. For now, that is.
At conflict is the players San Diego
will receive in return. New general manager Jed Hoyer has asked for
Clay Buchholz and either prospect outfielder Ryan Westmoreland or
right-hander Casey Kelly. As of now, the Red Sox aren’t receptive to
the asking price, but all things considered, it’s a pretty reasonable
return for two years of team control on Gonzalez. They may be more inclined to bite the bullet and make a deal if Jason Bay leaves via free agency.
Expect some continued to-and-fro
over the course of the winter between the clubs, but the most
interesting note from Cafardo’s piece is a teammate of Gonzalez
indicating that Boston would be the first baseman’s preferred
destination should he be traded. The Mariners and Mets, among others,
are also rumored to have varying degrees of interest in the 27-year-old
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.