Wandy Rodriguez

Report: Astros place Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers on waivers

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The Astros have decided to see if anyone will bite on their two most expensive starters, as they placed both Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers on waivers, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports.

The salaries make it possible neither will be claimed.  Rodriguez is owed $36 million from 2012-14, while Myers will make $11 million next year and then either $10 million or a $3 million buyout for 2013.

Despite the big contract, Rodriguez is the more attractive property of the two.  He’s 8-9 with a fine 3.50 ERA this season.  He has a 3.44 ERA and a 35/14 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings since the All-Star break.

Myers is currently 3-12 with a 4.72 ERA.  He’s still going six innings every time out, but almost always while giving up three or four runs.  His last win came on June 17.

For what it’s worth, Heyman says Rodriguez is 10:1 to get claimed, while there’s no chance of Myers getting claimed.  Danny Knobler of CBS Sports said last week that Rodriguez would likely get claimed by an NL team.

Shohei Otani may come to the United States after 2017

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Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?

Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.

It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.

Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.

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)
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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.