It was reported earlier this month that free agent right-hander Zack Greinke is on the Dodgers’ list of desired offseason acquisitions. And his name is apparently pretty high up on that list, too.
An “industry insider” told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald this weekend that the Dodgers are being viewed as the favorites to sign Greinke, who is the top starter on the open market this winter.
Los Angeles’ payroll is already hovering near $200 million, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the club’s higher-ups. Brandon League scored a ridiculous three-year, $22.5 million contract in late October.
Greinke, 29, posted a 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200/54 K/BB ratio in 212 1/3 innings this past season between the Brewers and Angels. He’s thought to be seeking an agreement worth close to $150 million.
The Rangers are also interested, and the Angels are expected to make a strong effort to re-sign him.
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.