Last week we heard that the Giants and Buster Posey had “exchanged preliminary ideas” about a multi-year deal to buy out his remaining arbitration years. Today Jon Heyman reports that those talks continue, though there is a “decent-sized gap” between the parties. Part of that gap is contract length, with Posey apparently wanting a Joey Votto/Troy Tulowitzki-style decade deal, with the team preferring to buy out the arbitration years and take it from there.
I’d take it from there. Posey is awesome, yes, but he’s also a catcher. If he stays a catcher, you have to be mindful of wear and tear. If he doesn’t, you have to be sure he can handle another position. I imagine he can — dude used to be a shortstop, so he’s more like Biggio than he is like a late-period Piazza or Bench — but you don’t know until you’ve tried it.
I’m usually about the players getting paid, but in this case, if I were the Giants, I’d play the waiting game for a while, content that there is a good chance that, even if you only keep Posey for six years, you’re likely to be getting his best ones.
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.