A-Rod Cameron Diaz

Your obligatory A-Rod Cameron Diaz at the Super Bowl post

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I’m not going to play the whole “OMG, A-Rod and Cameron Diaz looked stoopid!” game as a result of them getting caught on tape feeding each other pop corn. Dude’s got a lady friend that will feed him and that’s more than a lot of people have. And don’t even start that anti-Cameron Diaz stuff I’ve seen floating around. You didn’t have a chance with someone like her back in the mid-90s, during the “Being John Malkovich” era or now, so let’s not hate on A-Rod because his choice of Hollywood star girlfriend isn’t up to your alleged standards.

But maybe Ryan Braun wouldn’t approve:

“I asked Braun if [Aaron] Rodgers set him up with any Super Bowl tickets and he didn’t say yes, but he did say he had the opportunity to go there. Sounds like he’ll pass, though.

“I’d love to go,” he said. “But it’s close to spring training and I hate missing workouts. I doubt I’ll end up going. To get the full experience, you have to go for a few days and I don’t want to do that so close to spring training.””

No worries. I’m sure the popcorn was low fat. And I’m sure that A-Rod hit the Arlington Gold’s Gym a few times while he was down there. I think Nick Swisher was down there too. Maybe they all worked out together.

And now, your moment of zen:

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Shohei Otani may come to the United States after 2017

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Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?

Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.

It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.

Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.

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)
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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.