Some players with partial no-trade clauses choose to put the teams they really don’t want to play for on their block list. Others simply pick the teams most likely to trade for them, figuring that gives them more control over their future. Asdrubal Cabrera appears to have gone the latter route.
A source told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier that the six teams on Cabrera’s no-trade list are the Giants, Mets, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers and Yankees.
The Red Sox and Tigers are two of the most notable teams looking for shortstops this winter. The Tigers did pick up Jhonny Peralta’s option, but they’re looking for someone with a bit more range at the position.
The Yankees, on the other hand, never appeared to be a likely destination. However, with Alex Rodriguez out for possibly half the season, Cabrera would be a more attractive option at third base than anyone out there in free agency.
Speier’s source said that Cabrera is open to a trade and probably wouldn’t wield his no-trade protection. If the Red Sox pursue him, they might try for Justin Masterson, too, though getting both would require parting with an awful lot of minor league talent.
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.