Making official what was expected, the Red Sox announced that Andrew Bailey will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn capsule and damaged labrum in his right shoulder.
Bailey actually entered the All-Star break on the active roster having thrown four consecutive scoreless appearances, but revealed that he felt a lot of pain during the last of those four outings and has been dealing with discomfort for a while now.
He initially gave some thought to going the rest-and-rehab route, but later explained: “The only way to fix this is surgery–100 percent fix it. This isn’t going to heal on its own.” Instead he’ll be out for at least the next 12 months.
Bailey was acquired from the A’s last offseason for Josh Reddick, Miles Head, and Raul Alcantara and brought an extensive injury history with him to Boston. Last year he was limited to just 15 ineffective innings because of a torn thumb ligament and this year his season ends after 29 innings. He’s under team control for next season via arbitration, but the Red Sox may decide to cut Bailey loose rather than pay him something close to this year’s $4.1 million salary.
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.