From Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
“We will listen on [David] Wright for sure,” a Mets official told me during the week. “We know we are not going to win it all in 2012. We have to hope the Phillies get old and we are in position to take advantage of that in 2013-14, and we have to figure out ways to speed the process to get there.”
The honesty is refreshing. And the quote is no joke. According to Sherman, the Mets have already begun “focusing upon” the Angels’ roster, which boasts two young center fielders in Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout.
Trout, with his rare combination of power and speed, is thought to be untouchable — even for a five-time All-Star like Wright. But Bourjos could be thrown into a package with a couple of young, cost-controlled pitchers. Sherman names Tyler Chatwood, Garrett Richards and John Hellweg as possibilities.
It’s not known if negotiations are taking place at the moment, but, as Sherman notes, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is “unafraid to make unpopular decisions” and has been given license to do so. If the Mets are actually going to rebuild correctly, stocking the roster with young talent is a correct first step. But if they’re open to shopping Wright, we can probably already rule them out of the Jose Reyes sweepstakes as well.
These next few seasons could be a little rough for fans of New York’s National League team.
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.