Tied with Josh Hamilton for the major league lead at 99 before tonight’s action, Miguel Cabrera struck first Tuesday, knocking in two runs in the Tigers’ 8-4 defeat of the Twins.
Hamilton was held without an RBI as the Rangers were shutout by the Yankees.
Still just 29 years old, Cabrera now has nine 100-RBI seasons to his credit, having reached the plateau in each of his full major league seasons. Only 16 players have more 100-RBI seasons:
14 – Alex Rodriguez
13 – Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth
12 – Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Al Simmons
11 – Hank Aaron, Goose Goslin
10 – Joe Carter, Vladimir Guerrero, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols
When all is said and done, one imagines that either Pujols or Cabrera is going to top the all-time list. Maybe Rodriguez could add a couple of more, but that would require more durability than he’s displayed of late. Pujols, who fell one RBI short of the century mark last year, figures to notch his 11th 100-RBI season this year. He’s just 19 RBI away at the moment.
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.