This will come as no surprise to anyone with a basic knowledge of the Yankees’ roster. But, alas…
According to the AP, via NBCSports.com, free agent Jorge Posada said Wednesday before an annual dinner for his charitable foundation that he will not be back with the Yankees for the 2012 season.
Posada also told reporters that he hasn’t completely ruled out retirement, though he has already drawn free agent interest from “five to six” MLB teams.
“I feel I’m undecided,” said Posada. “I don’t know if I want to play. I don’t know if I want to stay home. I’m having fun with the kids and with the family, but I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t want to make the mistake of telling you that I’m not going to play or telling you that I’m going to play when I don’t know what I want to do. … I will always be a Yankee.”
Posada batted just .235/.315/.398 in 387 plate appearances this season. He is no longer a capable catcher and probably shouldn’t be signed as anything more than a part-time designated hitter. But the 40-year-old could probably find an incentives-based major league contract if he truly wants to continue his career.
The Yanks will turn DH duties over to a combination of Jesus Montero, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.
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.