MLB has suspended Reds prospect Jonathan Correa one year for lying about his age, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
Correa, a right-hander who ranked 26th on BA‘s list of the Reds’ top prospects coming into the season, was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2008 and is currently said to have a September 13, 1990 birth date that would make him 20 years old.
Badler notes that Correa was previously suspended 50 games for performance-enhancing drug use shortly after debuting in 2008 and then missed most of 2009 following Tommy John elbow surgery, so he’s been pretty damn busy for a guy with all of 102 career innings and zero experience above rookie-ball.
When healthy and not suspended Correa has been very good, with a 2.46 ERA and 117/35 K/BB ratio, although that won’t be so impressive if it turns out the 6-foot-1 right-hander is actually 27 years old. It would, however, be even more impressive if it turns out he’s 72, although presumably in that case a former teammate like Jamie Moyer would’ve tipped authorities off to his true identity.
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.