The Red Sox have had mixed results with former A’s coaches of late. On the one hand, there’s Terry Francona and his two World Series titles. On the other hand, there’s Curt Young, who washed out in one year with the team and went right back to his old job as Oakland’s pitching coach this year.
Now it seems the Red Sox are going to try dipping into the well again. They asked for and received permission from the Orioles to interview Rick Peterson for the job, the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reports.
Peterson was Oakland’s pitching coach from 1998-2003 before leaving for bigger money with the Mets. His reputation took a big hit there, in large part because he was seen as a driving force behind the Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano trade. Still, he lasted four years after that before getting fired when the team cleaned house in 2008. He then spent a year as Milwaukee’s pitching coach. Let go after the 2010 season, he was out of the league in 2011. He spent 2012 as the Orioles’ director of pitching development.
While a final decision on Peterson will come from the front office, manager John Farrell figures to have plenty of input. After all, he is a former pitching coach, and he’ll be doing quite a bit of work with the pitchers, particularly in spring training. It’d seem like a must that he and his pitching coach have a very good relationship.
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.