New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

K-Rod waives his giant option; will be a free agent after the season

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Ken Rosenthal reports that Francisco Rodriguez and the Milwaukee Brewers have made a deal:  K-Rod is waving his $17.5 million option in exchange for additional compensation now. He’ll become a free agent when the season is over.

This makes sense for everyone.  For the Brewers, they can now use Rodriguez in any capacity they wish, be it closing, setup or mopup, without having to worry about the games-finished clause.  For Rodriguez, he gets a chance to enter the free agent market with much better stats — more games; more innings; more saves, most likely — and thus be a far more attractive commodity than he would have been if he had been used sparingly in an effort to avoid the option from triggering.

And of course this is great for Scott Boras who, his posturing notwithstanding, clearly wanted to get his new client on the free agent market ASAP.  After all, if K-Rod got his $17.5 million, that commission would go to the old agent, Paul Kinzer.  A cut of any new deal is all for Boras.

And speaking of Boras, he went on XM Radio today, talking about just how awful a disservice Kinzer did to K-Rod in allegedly not submitting his no-trade list to the Mets before they could ship him to Milwaukee.  I touched on this yesterday, noting that it’s not at all clear that Kinzer really failed in this duty, and even if it is, it was a moot and harmless event.

This new deal — which was clearly already brewing as Boras made his media rounds to slam his rival agent — makes it pretty clear that K-Rod wasn’t harmed at all.  He was eager to go to Milwaukee and once he got there, he struck a deal that is both player and agent-friendly.

So what I’m saying: take Boras’ hand-wringing over that no-trade list with a grain of salt.  Maybe the whole shaker. It’s grandstanding and backbiting. Nothing more.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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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.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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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.