As a 25-year-old rookie last season Scott Sizemore was the Tigers’ Opening Day second baseman, but poor hitting and injuries have since removed him from the team’s plans and today they traded him to the A’s for left-hander David Purcey.
Purcey has a similar story, as the former first-round pick was dumped by the Blue Jays in mid-April after posting a 5.42 ERA in 149 innings.
He’s been effective since joining the A’s and moving to the bullpen full time, posting a 2.13 ERA and 7/3 K/BB ratio in 13 innings, and presumably the Tigers will keep him as a reliever.
Sizemore hasn’t hit in the majors yet, but he’s only gotten 237 total plate appearances and he’s a .315 hitter with an .880 OPS in 764 trips to the plate at Triple-A.
In terms of low-wattage trades this is an intriguing one involving a pair of prospect busts who still have some upside as role players.
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.