We heard earlier this week that the Blue Jays were in negotiations to send manager John Farrell to the Red Sox and it appears the situation is getting close to a resolution.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that the clubs are “making progress” in compensation talks. Assuming an agreement is eventually worked out, Farrell will be named the new manager of the Red Sox.
Farrell served as the pitching coach of the Red Sox from 2006-2010 before leaving for the Blue Jays manager gig. He only has one year left on his contract, but a baseball source told Joe McDonald and Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the Blue Jays would likely ask for a player of “substantial value” in order to give up their manager to a division rival.
While Farrell is reportedly the top choice for Boston’s vacant manager job, multiple candidates have interviewed over the past week, including Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale.
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.