stack of money

BoSox went seven years for Lee? Halos lowballed Crawford?

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that one of those two mystery seven-year offers for Cliff Lee came from the Red Sox before the team signed Carl Crawford.

An official with another team told Rosenthal that the Red Sox made the offer, but that it wasn’t for a comparable salary to what Lee figured to be offered elsewhere. The idea perhaps was to give Lee a seven-year deal to shop around, most notably to the Yankees. It’d be gamesmanship at its best.

As for the Angels’ offer to Crawford, a source told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that it was seven years and $108 million, a full $34 million less than he got from the Red Sox.

We’re pretty skeptical of that info; $108 million for seven years works out to $15.42 million per season. Possibly they offered $15 million per year for seven years and then a $3 million buyout as part of an eighth-year option. That’d be a hard offer to take seriously in this climate, though.

More likely is that Feinsand’s source was a bit off and the Angels offered $108 million for six years, or $18 million per year. That’s a substantial proposal, though it certainly wasn’t likely to get the job done after Jayson Werth got that same $18 million per year for seven seasons.

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.