After last night’s exhausting and, for Boston, dispiriting game against the Yankees, the Red Sox decided to make a lot of moves. One stands out above the others: they plan to call up top prospect Xander Bogaerts some time today, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.
Bogaerts, only 20 years-old, has hit .299/.389/.481 with 15 homers, seven steals and 67 RBI in 115 games this season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. He is easily the organization’s top prospect and will likely see time at short and third.
In addition to the Bogaerts move, the Sox have activated catcher David Ross from the 60-day DL and sent down Ryan Lavarnway and Rubby De La Rosa to Pawtucket. Those moves, methinks, wont’ bring nearly as much excitement as this one, however.
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.