How thin are the Red Sox in the outfield with Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list? Well, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com they’ve been scouting Scott Podsednik at Triple-A.
Podsednik is playing there because he lost out to fellow slap-hitting speedster Juan Pierre for a spot on the Phillies’ bench and so far the 36-year-old has hit just .150 in seven Triple-A games.
Philadelphia would surely be willing to part with Podsednik for a modest return and Boston could definitely use some outfield help, but he didn’t even play in the majors last season. In fairness he was productive in 2009 and 2010, hitting .300 with a .347 on-base percentage to make up for a measly .397 slugging percentage, and perhaps the Red Sox have decided that a bigger investment doesn’t make sense at this point.
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.