The Yankees have activated infielder Eduardo Nunez from the 60-day disabled list while right-hander David Phelps has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a slight sprain of his right forearm.
Nunez has been sidelined for two months with a left ribcage strain. The 26-year-old batted .375 (6-for-16) with one RBI and four walks in seven minor league rehab games between Low-A Charleston, High-A Tampa, and Double-A Trenton. He’ll get a chance to fill in at shortstop for now, though Derek Jeter isn’t far off from a return.
As for Phelps, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com notes that he has been shut down for 10 days. The 26-year-old gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Twins in his most recent start on Thursday and holds a 5.01 ERA and 75/32 K/BB ratio over 82 2/3 innings this season. Ivan Nova, who struck out 11 in a complete game win over the Orioles last night, will keep a spot in the starting rotation for now.
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.