According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds and Homer Bailey have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman hears that the deal is worth $5.35 million.
Bailey requested $5.8 million and was offered $4.75 million by the Reds when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, but the two sides were able to get something done in order to avoid a possible hearing on Monday. The 26-year-old right-hander remains under team control through 2014 and Reds general manager Walt Jocketty plans to revisit the idea of a multi-year extension at some point.
Bailey struggled in his initial chances in the major leagues, but the 2004 first-round pick has made some real strides over the past two seasons, including a 3.68 ERA and 168/52 K/BB ratio over a career-high 208 innings last year. He had a 3.21 ERA after the All-Star break, highlighted by a no-hitter against the Pirates on September 28.
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.