We previously linked to prospect rankings from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN.com, and today the industry leaders at Baseball America released their annual top 100 prospects list.
I won’t spoil all the fun, because you’ll want to check out the list and their analysis for yourself, but here’s their top five:
1. Bryce Harper, Nationals outfielder
2. Matt Moore, Rays starting pitcher
3. Mike Trout, Angels outfielder
4. Yu Darvich, Rangers starting pitcher
5. Julio Teheran, Braves starting pitcher
Goldstein, Law, and Baseball America all have the same guys in the top three spots, but in different orders. Goldstein goes Moore-Trout-Harper, Law goes Trout-Harper-Moore, and Baseball America goes Harper-Moore-Trout.
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.