Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the A’s are calling up Grant Green, who was the 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of USC and ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects in 2010 and 2011.
He didn’t crack BA‘s top 100 last year or this year, but Green has upped his stock by hitting .318 with 11 homers, 25 doubles, and an .874 OPS in 81 games at Triple-A. It’s worth noting that he’s 25 years old and this is Green’s second go-around at Triple-A in a hitter-friendly environment, so he projects as merely a solid contributor rather than a middle-of-the-order bat.
Green was drafted as a shortstop and tried center field at one point, but he’s been playing exclusively second base this season. That means the A’s chose to call him up over ex-starting second baseman Jemile Weeks, another former first-round pick who’s spent all year in the minors.
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.