David Wright took the high road in response to Fred Wilpon’s comments in The New Yorker. Now Carlos Beltran’s agent — the inimitable Scott Boras — offers a somewhat more pointed, but still far from angry response:
“These statements are not indicative of the Fred Wilpon I know … If you’re a member of a team or an organization and respect one another, any evaluation or internal opinion of players currently on the team should stay there. If you want success and optimal performance, it’s best to keep those in-house.”
He went on to say that he’s always had a good relationship with the Wilpons and notes that if Beltran has a specific response to the comments he’s certainly welcome to make them. My guess would be, however, that Beltran is well-advised by his agent and won’t say anything crazy.
In other words, help us Jose Reyes! You’re our only hope to turn this argle bargle into a full-blown foofaraw!
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.