According to the great Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s will promote 26-year-old right-hander Graham Godfrey from Triple-A Sacramento on Friday to make his major league debut Friday night against the White Sox.
A 34th-round pick of the Blue Jays back in 2006, Godfrey is far from a top prospect. But he has posted a cool 2.50 ERA and 1.11 WHIP across nine starts at the Triple-A level this season while striking out 45 batters and walking only 14 in 50-plus innings.
The A’s will hope that he can ride some of that momentum into a solid big league debut.
Godfrey was acquired from Toronto in the winter of 2007 for shortstop Marco Scutaro.
Oakland is trying to peg down a reliable fill-in for ace left-hander Brett Anderson, who is off to see Dr. James Andrews after experiencing more discomfort this week in his troublesome throwing elbow.
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.