Mets manager Terry Collins said earlier this month that he wasn’t counting on David Wright to make it back from his right hamstring strain this season, but his star third baseman is beginning to make some tangible progress.
Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork spotted Wright testing his hamstring by running in the outfield prior this afternoon at Citi Field. The plan calls for him to travel to the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday or Wednesday to ramp up baseball activities. If all goes well, he should be able to return during the final month of the season.
Wright was having one of his better seasons prior to the injury, batting .309/.391/.512 with 16 home runs, 54 RBI, and 17 stolen bases over 105 games while playing excellent defense. Despite missing the past three weeks, the 30-year-old ranks seventh among position players with a 5.7 fWAR.
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.