Cameron Maybin’s reign as the Padres’ center fielder is on hold after 50 games because of a knee injury that sent him to the disabled list.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage, but Maybin had been playing through the injury for two weeks before sitting out the past four days and the Padres finally decided to shut him down.
Blake Tekotte has filled in for Maybin in center field and the Padres called up Aaron Cunningham from Triple-A to take his roster spot.
Maybin got off to a strong start after being acquired from the Marlins this offseason for relievers Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb, hitting .280 with an .811 OPS through 39 games, but then went just 5-for-34 (.147) in the two weeks since injuring his knee.
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.