Jeff Francoeur

Give the guy an error already!

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Baseball-reference.com has spent the evening counting down to the 500,000th error of all-time. Not that it’s really the 500,000th error, but at least it’s the 500,000th error in the best database the Internet has to offer.

The Royals’ Jeff Francoeur pretty obviously committed what would have been No. 499,999 here — at least I think that’s where they’re at — but alas, the Kansas City official scorer decided it wasn’t meant to be.

Here’s the video for those with access to MLB.com Gameday.

For those that don’t, Torii Hunter hit a liner to right field that Francoeur had no problem getting to. However, Francoeur lost the ball in the lights at the last second and it hit off his glove. The ruling was an RBI single, which isn’t particularly surprising. But I still think it’s ridiculous. The ball was in his glove! It’s bad enough that they won’t give errors for balls outfielders circle around and don’t touch. If the ball hits him in the glove and he’s not diving or running towards the wall at full speed, it’s a freakin’ error.

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And in case you were wondering…

Shohei Otani may come to the United States after 2017

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Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?

Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.

It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.

Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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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.