Days after the Twins announced they are moving catcher Joe Mauer over to first base full-time, Giants GM Brian Sabean shot down speculation that the team would do the same with catcher Buster Posey, per MLB.com’s Chris Haft.
“When we signed him to an extension, we considered him as a catcher, and those numbers he was able to get in the extension were based on him being a catcher,” said Sabean, referring to the nine-year, $167 million deal Posey and the Giants reached last March. For Posey, Sabean added, catching “is his passion, and that’s where we need him to be at long term.”
Like Mauer, Posey suffered a major injury as a result of playing the position, which fueled the rumor that Posey would have a new position in 2014. Then-Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins collided with Posey at home plate in May 2011, fracturing the catcher’s ankle and ending his season. Since then, Posey, who turns 27 years old in late March, has logged 148 games in each of the past two seasons.
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.