We learned earlier tonight that the Blue Jays exercised their 2014 option on closer Casey Janssen, but Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca now reports that the club has also picked up their options on first baseman Adam Lind and utility player Mark DeRosa.
Lind is coming off a solid bounce back campaign in which he batted .288/.357/.497 with 23 home runs and 67 RBI over 143 games. His .854 OPS was his highest since 2009. The 30-year-old will be paid $7 million next season while the Blue Jays still hold club options for 2015 and 2016.
DeRosa managed to stay mostly healthy this season while batting .235/.326/.407 with seven home runs and 36 RBI in 88 games. He appeared in his most games since 2009. The option was only for $750,000, so the Blue Jays will take their chances with DeRosa headed into his age-39 season. It’s worth noting that he has discussed the possibility of retirement.
While Janssen, Lind, and DeRosa remain in the fold, the Blue Jays have declined the $1 million option on fan favorite infielder Munenori Kawasaki. Of course, it’s possible that he could return at a lower rate.
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.