UPDATE: Brian McCann has been placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. The Yankees have recalled Austin Romine from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his place on the active roster.
The Yankees have also announced the unconditional release of second baseman Brian Roberts, who was recently designated for assignment.
9:31 a.m. ET: Yankees catcher Brian McCann suffered what’s being termed as a “mild concussion” after he was hit in the mask by a foul tip in the third inning last night against the Indians.
McCann stayed in the game initially, but he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. According to Bryan Hoch and Jamal Collier of MLB.com, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t like what he heard during a conversation with McCann and didn’t want to take any chances.
“He said it was his jaw,” Girardi said. “He felt like his jaw got jammed. And then in talking to him later when he came in, in the sixth, he said he felt a little foggy. He was having a hard time putting words to it, so I helped him. I said, ‘You’re out.’ He didn’t want to come out, but I said, ‘You’re out.'”
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that McCann will be examined by a neurologist this morning before the Yankees decide the next step, with a trip to the 7-day concussion disabled list a possibility. Francisco Cervelli would take over as the starting catcher if he needs to miss some time while Austin Romine would likely be called up from Triple-A.
McCann, who signed a five-year, $85 million deal contact with the Yankees over the winter, is batting .238/.294/.384 with 13 home runs and 49 RBI over 103 games this season.
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.