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Vladimir Guerrero announces his retirement

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This hardly comes as a big surprise at this point, but Vladimir Guerrero told Hector Gomez of Dominican Republic newspaper Listin Diario (link in Spanish) that he has retired from baseball at the age of 38.

“I decided to announce my retirement because I want to spend more time with my family,” said Guerrero (translated from Spanish). “Also by the fact the two operations I’ve had in my right knee.”

Guerrero hasn’t played in the majors since 2011 when he batted .290/.317/.416 with 13 home runs and a .733 OPS with the Orioles. He had a brief stint in the minors with the Blue Jays in 2012, but eventually asked for his release after he wasn’t called up to the majors. It was reported earlier this year that he was planning to join the independent Long Island Ducks, but that effort never really got off the ground.

A nine-time All-Star, Guerrero will walk away from the game with a .318 career batting average to go along with 2,590 hits, 449 home runs, and 1,496 RBI. He won an MVP Award in 2004 as a member of the Angels. While he ultimately fell short of his goal of 500 home runs, he would still seem to have a pretty good shot at being enshrined in Cooperstown. If it happens, one would think he’d be wearing an Expos cap.

And man, what an arm.

(Hat-tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the link)

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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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.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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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.