Shaun Marcum has been out since mid-June with an elbow injury and suffered a setback last week, causing the Brewers to transfer him from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Milwaukee made the move to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for reliever Fautino De Los Santos, who was acquired from Oakland for catcher George Kottaras, but the shift also means Marcum won’t be eligible to return until August 14.
Marcum is an impending free agent, so if healthy the Brewers would likely be shopping him for more prospects after dealing Zack Greinke to the Angels. Instead he’s no sure thing to pitch again this season and the 30-year-old right-hander may have a hard time securing a big-money deal on the open market despite a 3.68 ERA in 141 career starts.
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.