Jon Heyman is a braver man than I am. He’s digging into what has to be a fairly miserable conversation: a dispute between Yankees President Randy Levine and Super Agent Scott Boras about money.
Don’t you wish you were on the line for that kind of thing between those kinds of guys?
The upshot: Levine says that Boras is asking for $60 million over four years for Rafael Soriano. Boras says he never talked about four years, though the implication is — and logic suggests that — $15 million is about what Soriano wants. Levine has a nice “good luck getting that kind of money” quote in the article.
When it comes to the he-said, he-said, however, you probably gonna side with Boras. When he goes crazy it’s a calculated thing, like when he says that Oliver Perez is Sandy Koufax. He strikes me, however, like the sort of guy who makes an extremely lawyerly point of knowing who said what, and in exactly what way, when. Levine, on the other hand, strikes me as the kind of guy who, when he is delayed in traffic for ten minutes, says “the freeway was backed up 20 miles! I had to wait five hours! Jeez!”
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.