It ain’t Kenny Lofton for David Justice and Marquis Grissom, but a spring training trade is always fun. Today’s version: the Rangers trade infielder Ray Olmedo to the Brewers for catcher Matt Treanor.
Matt Treanor is a backup catcher who can’t hit, and his presence in Texas is significant only insofar as (a) he’s, like, the fifth catcher the Rangers have traded for since everyone was talking about how much catching depth they had at the beginning of last year; and (b) he’s married to one half of what has been called “the greatest beach volleyball team of all time.” Misty May-Treanor once played volleyball with President Bush, who is the former owner of the Rangers, so I’m guessing the wheels started turning on this deal 15 years ago or so.
Olmedo is notable for being waived and outrighted to the minors more times than he has professional hits (estimated). Also: someone updated his Wikipedia page with this trade within five minutes of it being announced on Twitter, which means he probably has a very dedicated stalker out there somewhere, lurking.
Programming note: Given the heat this news is generating in blogosphere, it may take me a while to write the “What they’re saying about the Treanor-Olmedo” post. I mean, a man can only process so much analysis so fast.
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.