Report: Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has broken foot

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A source told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche that Jason Varitek could miss 4-6 weeks with a leg injury that may or may not be a broken foot.
The Red Sox have yet to confirm the injury, but it seems to go along with Boston’s move to reacquire Kevin Cash from the Astros on Thursday.
Varitek has been acting as Boston’s starting catcher with Victor Martinez on the shelf with a broken left thumb. The hope is that Martinez will return immediately after the break. If that’s the case, then this wouldn’t be as big of a blow as some of Boston’s other injuries. Still, the list is getting awfully long:
C Victor Martinez – On DL with broken thumb
C Jason Varitek – Out 4-6 weeks?
2B Dustin Pedroia – Out approx. six weeks with broken foot
2B-SS Jed Lowrie – On DL with Mono
3B-DH Mike Lowell – On DL with hip injury
OF Jacoby Ellsbury – On DL with broken ribs
OF Jeremy Hermida – On DL with broken ribs
RHP Josh Beckett – On DL with back injury
RHP Clay Buchholz – Likely to miss a start with hamstring injury
RHP Manny Delcarmen – Set to land on DL with forearm strain
And that’s not all. The Red Sox are actually without the guys who were their third and fourth catchers coming out of spring training. Dusty Brown (dislocated thumb) and Mark Wagner (hand surgery) are both on the DL at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Varitek, who lost his starting job when Martinez was acquired last season, was enjoying a fine 2010 in a part-time role, hitting .263/.324/.547 with seven homers and 16 RBI in 95 at-bats. Not that he was likely to keep it up, but the Red Sox certainly won’t get that kind of production while using Cash and Gustavo Molina to fill in.

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.