UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that it’s a one-year deal with a $2.5 million base salary. He could make an additional $2.5 million in performance incentives. Given what we’ve seen in this market, this is a pretty nice deal for the Phillies.
10:50 AM: John Lannan was non-tendered by the Nationals last month, but he’s sticking around in the National League East.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have agreed to a contract with Lannan, pending a physical. No word yet on the terms involved.
Lannan was the odd man out in the Nationals’ rotation this past season, as he spent most of the year in the minors, but he posted a 4.13 ERA and 17/14 K/BB ratio over 32 2/3 innings in six starts with the big club. The 28-year-old southpaw owns a 4.01 ERA over six seasons in the majors.
The Phillies had a need for another starter after trading Vance Worley in the Ben Revere deal, so Lannan fits the bill. He’s set to join a rotation which projects to include Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick.
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.