Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday that outfielder Julio Borbon might need surgery to stabilize his badly sprained left ankle.
The 25-year-old landed on the minor league disabled list a few days before the All-Star break after having to be removed from a Triple-A game on a stretcher.
If Borbon undergoes the procedure, he would be sidelined for another six-to-eight weeks.
Endy Chavez took over starting center field duties in Arlington, Texas when Borbon was optioned to the minor leagues in early June. If Chavez now falters or suffers an injury of his own, the Rangers may have no choice but to turn to Cuban defector Leonys Martin. That is, unless Borbon avoids the surgery.
A former supplemental first-round pick, Borbon has registered an underwhelming .284/.324/.358 batting line through 745 career major league plate appearances. He does have 40 stolen bases in 53 chances.
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.