The Royals announced Friday afternoon that Danny Duffy and Blake Wood would both undergo Tommy John surgery within the next two weeks.
It was already well established that Duffy was going down this path. Wood, a 26-year-old right-hander, had been on the DL since the start of the season with what the team was calling right nerve irritation. It’s not exactly a stunning revelation that his injury turned out to be something more, but Tommy John is still a disappointing development. Wood had a 3.75 ERA in 69 2/3 innings out of the pen for Kansas City last year.
Since Wood is a reliever, he’ll have a better chance of making it back and contributing for the Royals in 2013. Duffy will likely be back pitching in games by next June or July as well, but he’s unlikely to be much of an asset for the team before 2014.
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.