Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports has a report about Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins. A report that may make folks in Miami a tad upset while warming the hearts of the folks in Boston and anywhere else where the local team is willing to spend nine figures on top talent.
He recounts how the Marlins, despite multiple teardowns, fan apathy and the expectation by some that they’d lose a LOT of games this year, are still very much in the playoff hunt. Then he asked Stanton whether the changed vibe in Miami has him thinking he’d like to stay around for the long haul:
The question was whether the events of this season had altered his top-down view of the organization. He’d raised his eyes, thinking.
“Five months,” he said, “doesn’t change five years.”
Stanton is a free agent in two years and he’s going to have a couple of hefty arbitration awards before then. Jeff Loria has never shown that he’ll commit to a large payroll or even a top-of-the-market contract for a top-of-the-market player. Stanton is well aware of this and one has to assume he’s not eager to sign a big contract only to see his team’s owner gut the franchise around him.
If I’m Stanton, I wait and see too.
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.