Michael Taylor has gone from top-30 prospect to footnote. The Athletics announced this afternoon that they have traded Taylor to the White Sox in exchange for minor league right-hander Jake Sanchez.
Taylor posted impressive numbers as a farmhand with the Phillies before being shipped to the Blue Jays in the Roy Halladay deal in December of 2009. He was quickly traded to the Athletics for Brett Wallace in a high-profile deal of top prospects, but both of them have proven to be flops. Taylor’s power never developed as hoped and he has hit just .135/.210/.189 with a 26/7 K/BB ratio over 81 plate appearances in the majors. Now 28 years old, he’ll likely function as outfield depth with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte.
Sanchez owns a 2.80 ERA over 38 starts and seven relief appearances in the minors. The 24-year-old has yet to pitch above A-ball.
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.