Logan Morrison

Logan Morrison to rejoin Marlins on Wednesday

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If figured that Logan Morrison’s exile would be a short one, and according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Marlins will recall him Wednesday, meaning his stint with Triple-A New Orleans will have lasted the minimum 10 days.

(Only in cases of an injury requiring a DL stint to a major leaguer are teams able to recall players within a 10-day window following a demotion.)

When the move happened, the best guess seemed to be that Morrison would rejoin the Marlins on Sept. 1, giving him an 18-day stay in the minors.  That the Marlins are making the move already could be an indication that the two sides came to an undisclosed agreement.  There was talk last week of Morrison filing a grievance, arguing that his demotion had no real merit to it.  Perhaps he agreed to forgo such an action in return for the Marlins agreeing to recall him as soon as the 10 days were up.

Morrison, who was hitting .249/.327/.464 with 17 homers and 60 RBI in 95 games before being sent down, is just 4-for-24 through six games with New Orleans, so it’s not as though he’s forced the team to bring him back with his production.  Three of his four hits have gone for extra bases (one homer, two doubles), but even that has only led to a .597 OPS.

Still, the saga is coming to an end anyway.  Morrison isn’t much of a left fielder and he really should be a little more careful on Twitter, but there’s really no arguing that he doesn’t belong in the majors.  Time will tell if he and the Marlins can co-exist or if he becomes a mighty fine piece of trade bait next summer.

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.