Lenny Dykstra’s legal problems continue to mount, as the Associated Press reports that the former All-Star outfielder pleaded guilty Friday to three counts related to a bankruptcy fraud case in Los Angeles. He could face a maximum 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on December 3.
According to Reuters, Dykstra admitted defrauding creditors by declaring bankruptcy in 2009 and then stealing or destroying furnishings, baseball memorabilia and other property from his $18.5 million mansion. He also admitted to giving false or misleading testimony about what was removed from the home.
As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Dykstra has waived his right to appeal if he is sentenced to no more than 51 months in prison and $200,000 in restitution.
Dykstra is already serving a three-year prison sentence in California after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement. In April, he was sentenced to nine months in jail and 36 months probation after pleading no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and lewd conduct.
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.