Jason Bay’s “buyout” or whatever we want to call it from the Mets is gonna turn out to be a pretty good deal for him. Rather than some lengthy, Bobby Bonilla-esque buyout, Jon Heyman reports that he’ll be paid all of his money — all $21 million he was still owed on his deal, which originally ran through 2013 — by the end of 2015:
Neither side would comment on the deferred payments, but sources familiar with the deal say the short deferral — the deferred monies are to be paid in five installments — means the present-day value of the contract is worth only about $850,000 less than the full $21 million. Had the team simply cut him, they would have had to pay him all the money by the end of 2013.
So if he makes $850,000 or more in 2013, which is totally possible, he’s ahead of the game.
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.