Rafael Montero Getty

Mets send Rafael Montero to Triple-A, will move Daisuke Matsuzaka into rotation

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The Mets demoted right-hander Rafael Montero to Triple-A Las Vegas today after he gave up four runs (three earned) over 3 2/3 innings last night against the Phillies. According to Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said this afternoon the move was made out of “necessity” because the bullpen was stretched thin in their 14-inning loss last night. The team has called up right-hander Buddy Carlyle to take Montero’s place on the active roster.

The Mets called up Montero and Jacob deGrom from Triple-A earlier this month after Jenrry Mejia was moved to the bullpen and Dillon Gee was placed on the DL with a lat strain. While deGrom has pitched well, Montero has been a little shaky. The 23-year-old struck out 10 batters and allowed just one run in six innings against the Diamondbacks last Sunday, but he has allowed 12 earned runs on 21 hits (including five home runs) and 11 walks in 20 innings across his first four major league starts.

Montero figures to get another shot before long, perhaps as soon as he’s eligible to return, but Daisuke Matsuzaka will take his place in the starting rotation next Wednesday against the Cubs.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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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.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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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.