John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR in Phoenix tweets that the Diamondbacks have talked to the Reds about shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Arizona has been getting by with Willie Bloomquist at shortstop and Cody Ransom in a reserve role since Stephen Drew went down with a fractured ankle on July 20.
Renteria, a black hole offensively while hitting .225/.304/.268 in the first half of the season, has really stepped it up since the All-Star break, batting .282/.309/.487. He has 10 extra-base hits and 15 RBI in 78 second-half at-bats. He had just four extra-base hits and 13 RBI in 142 at-bats during the first half.
The Reds are 12 1/2 games back in the NL Central and it seems unlikely that they’re going to want to bring Renteria back next year, so maybe something could get done here. If the Diamondbacks picked up Renteria, he’d likely be more of a replacement for Ransom than a new starting shortstop.
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.