Pedro Feliz has signed with the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League, according to a Tweet by Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat.
Feliz was granted his release by the Royals after batting .167/.286/.375 in 24 at-bats during spring training. The 36-year-old third baseman batted just .218/.240/.293 with five home runs and 40 RBI over 429 plate appearances between the Astros and Cardinals last season. His .533 OPS was the lowest among players with at least 400 plate appearances. And while he has earned the reputation as a solid gloveman, even his defense showed signs of decline.
The Marlins quickly shot down talk of adding Feliz before the start of the season, so there just doesn’t appear to be a good fit with a major league club right now. Or maybe ever again.
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.