UPDATE: The deal is believed to be in the range of $14-15 million total and doesn’t include any club options, reports Rosenthal and Morosi.
The Rangers likely would have preferred to get some of his free agent years as part of the deal, but that was probably a long shot given that Andrus is represented by Scott Boras. In the meantime, it’s nice to have some cost certainty with a very talented shortstop.
9:18 PM: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com are reporting that the Rangers and Elvis Andrus have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a three-year contract, pending a physical.
Terms aren’t yet available, but the new deal will cover all of his arbitration seasons and set him up for free agency following the 2014 season. Andrus, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason, filed for $3.6 million and was offered $2.65 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month.
Already one of the better defensive shortstops in the sport, the 23-year-old Andrus owns a .271/.340/.343 batting line over his first three seasons in the majors. He batted .279/.347/.361 with five home runs, 60 RBI, 37 stolen bases, 96 runs scored and a .708 OPS in 2011.
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.