Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter didn’t pitch in 2013 as he was dealing with nerve issues in his right shoulder. Throughout the process of getting himself back into pitching shape, Carpenter talked like a player who planned to pitch in the Majors again, and he even attempted to get back before the end of the regular season. It wasn’t to be.
Per Derrick Goold, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is thinking about what Carpenter can do for the team if he can’t pitch.
“If he wants to do something with the St. Louis Cardinals, we would certainly welcome that,” general manager John Mozeliak said of Carpenter’s life after pitching. “When the time comes to discuss that my door will be open. I look forward to that conversation. He is someone who is so competitive and so passionate about this game that I don’t know if working in the front office is going to appease that. But we’ll see. Great guy. Wonderful teammate. So, we’ll see.”
If Carpenter is done pitching, he’ll retire with a 144-94 record, a 3.76 ERA and two World Series rings with the Cardinals (2006 and ’11).
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
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.