A few years ago I wrote a post about Giants bench coach Ron Wotus getting suspended for a game for whatever it was bench coaches can get suspended for. At the time I said that it would probably be the last time I ever used Ron Wotus’ picture on HardballTalk.
Shows you what I know: Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners have interviewed Wotus for their managerial opening.
Ain’t gonna lie: I don’t know much about Wotus apart from that suspension and the fact that, generally speaking, you don’t hear much about the Giants having big on-field tactical blunders that a good bench coach would prevent. So I assume that and his long tenure with Bruce Bochy makes him a good guy who is good at his job.
The job he’s interviewing for? Eh, not exactly drawing star power. So far the Mariners have been linked with Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, each of whom are interviewing for higher-profile jobs in Chicago and Detroit, respectively. But good luck to Wotus all the same.
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.