When you get a $100 million contract "the first year is the most difficult"

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That quote comes from Vernon Wells. And yeah, I’m sure it’s an absolute drag.

OK, that’s a bit of a cheap shot, inasmuch as Wells was likely asked specifically about the pressure ballplayers face after getting huge deals, not the difficulty of life at large, but it is the kind of quote that turns your head a bit.

It comes in what is actually a pretty interesting article about guys in the $100 million club, most specifically Matt Holliday, who is adjusting to what must me a strange new world this year.  The best part: Scott Boras likes to have a “talk” with his big money guys after their first season as $100 million men is underway:

Boras called it the
“post-contract conversation” and he described how it’s impossible
to have it before a season starts or even in the opening weeks. It
takes a player experiencing the new reality of a big contract for
him to understand how to react.
“I usually let them get four weeks, five weeks into the season
and then we have the conversation,” Boras said. “There is no way to
prepare an athlete for this because so few athletes ever get there.

I don’t have pity for the $100 million men, but anyone who is thrust into a new world like that has to lose their gravity for a while, and losing one’s gravity isn’t pleasant, even if it is in comfortable circumstances.

Still, I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.  I imagine
it would be much like listening to Chinese or Klingon or something it’s
so far from our normal frame of reference.

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.