Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was asked about the possibility of the team going after Manny Ramirez the other day. Specifically, he was asked about Ramirez’s reputation as a pain in the butt. Anthopoulos’ response: “You have to weigh each case by itself. If it’s the right player, the right fit, the right talent at the right price, you’ve got to be open to it.”
This makes perfect sense to me, as does the notion that Ramirez would be a good fit in Toronto. What has me scratching my head a bit is the sentiment out there that has Manny only being worth a nothin’ contract with tons of incentives. This morning Buster Olney said “if he is willing to accept an $800,000 base salary with a lot of incentive clauses,” teams would maybe think about signing him.
Really? Heck, if he’d take $800K I’d consider him for my everyday left field slot. No, he’s not what he was, but last year he was injured a lot. When he did play, his rate stats were .298/.409/.460. That ain’t bad. And if I were a betting man I’d wager that if he plays DH someplace next year he’ll outperform Vlad Guerrero’s 2010.
$800,000? I’d offer the guy a few million.
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.