Aubrey Huff has officially announced his retirement from baseball, ending a 13-year Major League career, reports Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.
“I’m officially done. I have no desire to play anymore,” Huff said over the phone on Saturday. “That has come and gone. I couldn’t even imagine picking up a bat and trying to get ready for the whole grind of a baseball season anymore. I’m enjoying this way too much, just hanging out.”
Huff already has a new job lined up, as he will be a broadcaster with the Pac-12 network starting next month.
Huff was drafted by the Devil Rays in the fifth round of the 1998 draft and spent seven seasons in the big leagues with them. Over the rest of his career, he would play with the Astros, Orioles, Tigers, and Giants. He was a big part of the 2010 World Series champion Giants, posting an .891 OPS during the regular season with a few multi-hit games during the post-season. Perhaps his most important contribution to that team, though, was the inception of the “red rally thong“. He won a second ring as part of the 2012 Giants as well, but his role and contributions were reduced, as he was 35 years old.
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.