Arthur Rhodes said during the Cardinals’ World Series run in October that he planned to play one more season before retiring and according to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, the 42-year-old left-hander is close to deciding where he’ll pitch in 2012.
Rhodes was released by the Rangers last August after posting a 4.81 ERA over 32 appearances, but latched on with the Cardinals in August and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings during the postseason. The Cardinals would reportedly like to bring him back, but he has also drawn interest from the Mariners this offseason.
Rhodes has a 4.08 ERA over his 20 seasons in the majors, but the great majority of his success has come after the age of 30. The southpaw has a 3.07 ERA since 2001.
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.