On the heels of a fantastic 2013 campaign, Braves starter Mike Minor has earned a pay raise of nearly $3.5 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility as a super-two player. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the two sides avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.85 million deal. Minor took home $505,000 last season.
A “super two” player is a player who has between two and three years of service time, racks up at least 86 days of service in the preceding season, and ranks in the top 22 percent in total service in the class of potential “super two” players.
Minor posted a 3.21 ERA in 204 2/3 innings with 181 strikeouts and 44 unintentional walks in 2013. With the strong effort, he cemented himself a spot as the #2 pitcher in the rotation behind Kris Medlen.
Minor was one of 11 Braves eligible for arbitration. The team has dealt with most of them, but still has Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, and Jason Heyward oustanding.
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.