Andrew Bailey gave the A’s a scare when he left Monday’s game grabbing his surgically repaired elbow, but Dr. James Andrews found no structural damage and Bailey said today that the “ripping” sensation he felt was likely just scar tissue breaking up.
Bailey told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he hopes to resume throwing within the next week, but admitted that he’s no sure thing to be ready for Opening Day.
As for Bailey’s trip to see Dr. Andrews, he called it “nerve-wracking” and shared his parting words: “I love you, Doc, but I don’t want to see you anymore.”
If he’s not ready to begin the season as closer Brian Fuentes will take over ninth-inning duties for the A’s, who have one of the deepest bullpens in baseball with or without Bailey leading the way.
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.