C.J. Nitkowski is kinda hard on himself here — the dude did last ten years in the bigs — but sometimes that’s goes with self-awareness. He tweeted this on Sunday:
In other “the draft is a crapshoot, so let’s all calm down” news, Rob Neyer makes a great point today: the vast majority of guys taken in this thing will flame out and we’ll never hear of them. Even the high-rounders. So why don’t we stop comparing everyone who is picked to established All-Stars.
It’s the footballification of the draft, I suppose. You put the thing on TV and you have to say something. And if you put it on TV you want to draw in as many people as you can, so you have to say something provocative or broad or widely relatable, even if it isn’t particularly reasonable.
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.