Tigers Sign Joaquin Benoit

Talk about rebuilding value.  The Tigers officially signed righty reliever Joaquin Benoit to a three-year, $16.5MM deal today, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  He can earn another $1MM per year in incentives.  It's the biggest contract for a non-closer reliever since Scott Linebrink's four-year, $19MM pact with the White Sox three years ago.  Benoit's last contract had been of the minor league variety with the Rays, but now he'll be paid $5.5MM annually.  The contract is another big score for the Levinson brothers at ACES, who also did the deals for John Buck, Brandon Inge, and Jhonny Peralta

Benoit was one of baseball's best bargains in 2010, as he posted a 1.34 ERA, 11.2 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, and 38.9% groundball rate in 60 1/3 innings.  Benoit was available cheaply because he was coming off rotator cuff surgery performed in January of 2009.  The Rays will receive a supplemental draft pick for their loss. 

This time around, the Tigers had to pay full sticker price with a commitment reminiscent of the Astros' three-year, $15MM deal with Brandon Lyon a year ago.  Benoit will set up for Jose Valverde in 2011, and could close in the following seasons.  The Tigers' biggest offseason deals are yet to come, as they're expected to add a big bat or two.  Tip of the hat to MLBTR's Mark Polishuk, who correctly predicted the Tigers would sign Benoit. 

Benoit is off the board, but right-handed relief remains a strong suit of this year's free agent class.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports was first to report the near-agreement, while ESPN's Enrique Rojas added details.


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127 Comments on "Tigers Sign Joaquin Benoit"


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wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

I was expecting more of an incentive based deal.

Guest
Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Dang…They should have consulted with Damaso Marte first…

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I think Benoit got the good end of this stick.

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JaySchu
4 years 7 months ago

Wow, what an overpay!

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$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

Wow… what on Earth are GMs doing this offseason? $17M for a guy coming off a career year at age 32-33 who missed all of 2009?

You’d think Joel Zumaya would’ve made them shy away from injury-prone relievers.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Exactly, it looks like they are paying money like they are expecting last year’s stats for the next three seasons, i’m not sure they’ll get it.

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Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Have to agree, we’ve seen some very odd moves in the last few days.

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jphenix2002
4 years 7 months ago

I was excited when I read the headline, but the price tag killed my joy

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Mudhens
4 years 7 months ago

There is no salary cap in baseball. If this move means Illitch cannot afford to get a couple of big bats then yes, their overspending was a poor choice. However, if Illitch greenlights DD to offer contracts to Dunn, Crawford and VMart (at least two of them) then thank you Illitch for putting your money where your mouth is.

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firealyellon
4 years 7 months ago

if they offer contracts to 2 of those 3, i can outdrink Miggy.