5:45 p.m. EST update: WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Miller will make $1.04 million next season. The figure represents the maximum 20 percent paycut he could receive as an arbitration-eligible player. Had the Red Sox wanted to go lower, they would have had to non-tender Miller and re-sign him.
Former Tigers No. 1 pick Andrew Miller will be back with the Red Sox next season after agreeing to a one-year deal on Tuesday.
Miller, who made $1.3 million last season, likely would have been non-tendered by Boston had he not come to terms before the deadline. While the 26-year-old remains intriguing as a left-hander with a 91-94 mph fastball, the Red Sox weren’t going to risk giving him a significant raise after another year of disappointing results. Miller went 6-3 with a 5.54 ERA in 12 starts and five relief appearances for the club last season.
Miller stands fourth or fifth on Boston’s rotation depth chart as it’s currently comprised, but he won’t be assured anything entering spring training. Since this contract won’t be guaranteed — one-year contracts for arbitration-eligible players almost never are — he could well find himself off the roster if he struggles during March.
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.