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.


127 Responses to Tigers Sign Joaquin Benoit Leave a Reply

  1. wickedkevin 5 years ago

    I was expecting more of an incentive based deal.

  2. Guest 5 years ago

    Dang…They should have consulted with Damaso Marte first…

  3. I think Benoit got the good end of this stick.

  4. JaySchu 5 years ago

    Wow, what an overpay!

  5. $1529282 5 years 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.

    • 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.

    • Guest 5 years ago

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

    • jphenix2002 5 years ago

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

      • Mudhens 5 years 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.

        • firealyellon 5 years ago

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

  6. coachofall 5 years ago

    Wow!!! I think we just saw the highest mult-year deal any reliever on the market will sign. Downs and Soriano will cost money and Picks and i think the fact that picks can be saved actually increased his value.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      I think Soriano will top this for sure. He may cost picks, but I imagine he can still land 3/24 at the very least, if not more. The Angels will overpay for him just like they did with Fuentes.

      • coachofall 5 years ago

        The more I study current teams payrolls (and I know he is a Scott Boras Client) I wouldn’t be shocked if Soriano accepts arbitration and takes one year at over 10 MIl again. He won’t get that in the open market. I guess the question will be does TB take the risk and offer knowing there is a chance he accepts (again). To me this and Downs are the two most intriguing arbitration offers of the year.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          He could get $10M annually, and even if he doesn’t, he’ll get more than $10M total, and that’s what he cares about. Relief pitching is a volatile market. You can go from being elite to irrelevant in one years’ time, or vice versa (See: Joaquin Benoit). Relievers take the security when they can get it, especially with an injury history like Soriano has.

          If he can even get 3/21, he should take it and be happy, because one slip in 2011 or one injury and he’s back to looking at a one-year, $2M-$3M.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          He could get $10M annually, and even if he doesn’t, he’ll get more than $10M total, and that’s what he cares about. Relief pitching is a volatile market. You can go from being elite to irrelevant in one years’ time, or vice versa (See: Joaquin Benoit). Relievers take the security when they can get it, especially with an injury history like Soriano has.

          If he can even get 3/21, he should take it and be happy, because one slip in 2011 or one injury and he’s back to looking at a one-year, $2M-$3M.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      I think Soriano will top this for sure. He may cost picks, but I imagine he can still land 3/24 at the very least, if not more. The Angels will overpay for him just like they did with Fuentes.

  7. 5.5 million a year for a setup man with a career 4.47 ERA and 1.35 WHIP…wow

  8. Once I saw it was for 3 years I immediatly thought of the Lyon deal. If a player is going to sign this early you know it had to be for a pretty penny. I think the Tigers thinking is that to convince Benoit not to be a closer and had to go the extra year to get hm to setup. This could work out though with Valverde only under contract for one more with an option I believe Benoit could slide into the closer role next year. I know the reliever market is deep and Tigers probably could have waited and got a bargain but they went out and got the best setup man available. If he pitches anything close to what he did last year it was a good deal for the Tigers.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      But why would you expect him to pitch like he did this year when 2010 was so blatantly out of line with his career numbers? I wouldn’t say Benoit is the best setup man available at all; he just had the best year of any setup guy on the market. There’s a HUGE difference between those two statements.

      The Tigers just screwed themselves.

      • I don’t expect him to repeat a 1.34 era but he did that in the AL East in a more hitter friendly ball park. I could see his era in 2.30 to 2.50 range. His career stats are a little misleading has he was a starter and longman for the first half of his career. Since he became a strictly a relief pitcher he has pitched to 3.52 era with a whip of 1.21 and thats with an injury plaqued ’08. While those numbers don’t garner this contract he pitched great in ’07 got hurt in ’08 and bounced back with a ridiculous ’10. Maybe I am bias cause living in Tampa I watched him pitch quite a bit this year but he was by far the best setup man in the league this year. I think the contract looks bad because he didn’t sign as a closer. If the Angels signed him to this contract to be a closer their wouldn’t be such a back lash. You can make the argument that a setup man is more important than a closer in that he can come in with men on base and pitch more than one inning but that is an argument for another time. I think this was done with the idea of him being the closer in ’12 and ’13. The Tigers viewed him as the best relief option out there and had to pay to get him. Who would you consider a better setup man that is available?

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          I think closers are the most overrated position in professional sports, so I’d have had the same reaction. The guy had a career year at age 33. Missed the entire season beforehand. And now he just got guaranteed almost $17M to pitch what will — best case scenario — amount to 200 innings over the next three years.

          It’s an awful signing. Nearly any multi-year deal for a reliever is a bad signing in my book.

          • emic 5 years ago

            I concur, aaron. I guess we’ll have to wait and see morneau…personally, I think he’s worth the risk – he’s shown that he can excel in the relief role. His #s are most def skewed, as was mentioned earlier.

          • emic 5 years ago

            I concur, aaron. I guess we’ll have to wait and see morneau…personally, I think he’s worth the risk – he’s shown that he can excel in the relief role. His #s are most def skewed, as was mentioned earlier.

          • I guess it all depends on the resources your team has to spend. Due to the volatiity of relief pitching I agree it is not wise to do multi-year contracts. If your the Tampa Bay Rays or the Florida Marlins it is not feasible to do this. This contract is an overpay but I think the risk reward of having a dominant set-up man who could possibly come close to his ’10 numbers is worth it then ending up with say Octavio Dotel on a 1 year/2.5 million dollar deal by waiting out the market. I would have liked to see a 2 yr/10 mill deal for hime but he could have found more elsewhere. I can live with giving the extra year to ensure you get the best option out there. This contract won’t hamstring the Tigers from pursuing other free agents as it would other teams.

        • $1529282 5 years ago

          I think closers are the most overrated position in professional sports, so I’d have had the same reaction. The guy had a career year at age 33. Missed the entire season beforehand. And now he just got guaranteed almost $17M to pitch what will — best case scenario — amount to 200 innings over the next three years.

          It’s an awful signing. Nearly any multi-year deal for a reliever is a bad signing in my book.

        • verlander 5 years ago

          //I think this was done with the idea of him being the closer in ’12 and ’13.//

          This thought has crossed my mind. Valverde’s got only one year left on his deal.

          • tigers22 5 years ago

            Yup. Totally agree.

          • jphenix2002 5 years ago

            Plus the arm injury he had at the end of the season. Maybe it’s serious and Detroit doesn’t know if he can bounce back.
            Still, why make that commitment so soon? The list of closers available in 2012 is going to shrink yes, but its still saturated with quality closers even if 3 or 4 sign extensions.

      • lvtdude 5 years ago

        How long did he actually pitch with a sore shoulder? Perhaps that limited his previous effectiveness. John Smoltz said that if he would’ve known how good he would feel after surgery, he would’ve gone under the knife a lot sooner in his career. I think a lot of these guys pitch for a long time with pain before having surgery. His ERA and WHIP could nearly double this season and he’s still have good numbers.

    • Lyon was good his first here but he spent time as closer

    • Lyon was good his first here but he spent time as closer

    • I’m pretty sure they don’t have to convince him not to be a closer since, according to an NL executive quoted in Stark’s column, Benoit doesn’t like to close and has said that previously.

  9. yikes. that contract is a little too rich for my stomach to handle…

  10. yikes. that contract is a little too rich for my stomach to handle…

  11. mowses 5 years ago

    I don’t get it. Buck got three years, Benoit three. Some GMs are really overpaying in both years and money. What is Downs supposed to get 5 years?

    • wickedkevin 5 years ago

      5yrs/$35m I guess. Plus $2m in incentives every year he throws lefty.

    • wickedkevin 5 years ago

      5yrs/$35m I guess. Plus $2m in incentives every year he throws lefty.

    • I agree. I think this is bad for baseball in general. These guys are getting paid a lot of money to play a game. And when these guys, like Benoit and Buck receive these ridiculous contracts, it increases the value of the top free agents to amounts that are just INSANE. If this pattern continues, in 50 years or so these players will be earning $500 millions for 3-4 years of service. RIDICULOUS!

      • MeOnTheInternet 5 years ago

        How will that be bad for baseball in general?

        Don’t discredit their work because it’s a game, there’s this whole business-thing that revolves around that game.

        Why is it RIDICULOUS?

        • Ummm… I think I was pretty clear why I think this is ridiculous. “If this pattern continues, in 50 years or so these players will be earning $500 millions for 3-4 years of service.”Every year, I see contracts getting bigger and bigger and bigger… and when guys like Benoit or Buck (which are not TOP PLAYERS) get this amount of money so early in this free agency, its a prelude of the $$$ the real TOP PLAYERS are going to get.And I think it is ridiculous!!! I personally believe that all these athletes don’t deserve to earn so much money to play a game. At the end, baseball (like any other sport) is just a game.It is not jealousy! I’m not saying they don’t deserve to get paid. It’s their job… their time… their effort… whatever… But as a baseball fan, I think these salaries are getting out of hand and we, the fans, end up paying the price. Ticket prices increase! Etc.That’s why I think this signing is bad for baseball in general. Not saying Benoit is not good… just saying Tigers are overpaying and that it sets precedent for other athletes better than Benoit to ask for even more. I respect other peoples opinion… so you are ok to disagree with me. But I’m sure there’s a lot of fans that feel the same way as I do!

      • emic 5 years ago

        What is really “ridiculous” is that 5 of the 7 worst teams in baseball were the most profitable – greedy owners pocketing revenue sharing $ and not reinvesting in their team is “ridiculous”. Besides, aren’t the players the ones putting arses in the seats? Baseball is a multibillion $ / year industry – the players deserve to get paid for their efforts.

        • ugen64 5 years ago

          well, one of those teams is the Marlins, and they’re the ones who gave Buck 3 years. so this seems to be the wrong place to be making that argument.

        • I partially agree with you. There are owners that are very greedy and are making lot of profits and don’t reinvest in their team to make them better. But that’s not my point.

          I think salaries are getting out of control. That’s it!

          I think Benoit was good last year, but he is not GREAT… and I’m worried that if guys like him are going to get so much… cannot imagine how much TOP PLAYERS will ask for. And if this pattern continues, then salaries are going to be so high that we, fans, won’t be able to go to any of the games. At the end, it is the fans who ends up paying for all this.

  12. LOL. That is all…no explanation needed.

  13. LOL. That is all…no explanation needed.

  14. 16.5 mil committed to a reliever? Wow.

  15. The Tigers just got rid of a few huge contracts. I guess it’s time to start that cycle over again.

  16. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Just your typical Yankees going out and over spending for a middle relief pitcher just because they can. Just trying to buy another championship…wait…oh it’s not the Yankees doing that kind of spending? Ah hell, never mind!

  17. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Just your typical Yankees going out and over spending for a middle relief pitcher just because they can. Just trying to buy another championship…wait…oh it’s not the Yankees doing that kind of spending? Ah hell, never mind!

  18. dskirsa 5 years ago

    The contract value might also have something to do with the Tiger’s ability to attract good talent. Benoit was one of the bigger set up guys available and, chances are, he was being courted by some bigger name teams than the Tiger’s. Tiger’s are in a position, again, where they need to pay a premium for talent.

    • That is a pretty ridiculous notion. The Tigers just flat-out overpaid for no reason.

      • dskirsa 5 years ago

        I guess it didn’t seem as ridiculous when they overpaid for Maggs and Pudge. I suppose you’re right though…if Benoit had a choice between the Red Sox and Tiger’s (offering similar deal) then I would probably choose the Tiger’s too. It would be ridiculous for the Tiger’s to offer a better deal since they tend to be the number one choice for free agents.

        While I agree they overpaid, it’s ridiculous to think a player wouldn’t factor in a team’s past performance.

        • verlander 5 years ago

          //if Benoit had a choice between the Red Sox and Tiger’s (offering similar deal) then I would probably choose the Tiger’s too. It would be ridiculous for the Tiger’s to offer a better deal since they tend to be the number one choice for free agents.//

          Sarcasm, right?

      • Mudhens 5 years ago

        The Tigers absolutely have to pay a premium to acquire the better free agents. You can debate if they overpaid on the premium in this case but in my opinion not the idea that it is tougher for Detroit to acquire free agents.

  19. Rafael Soriano should bring $8 million per year easy for 3 years… That’s what the Rays do…take players off the trash heap, recreate them and make them stars en route to the playoffs and then let everyone else sign them for the big money. Then we start over! Bad day for Rays fans to start an even worse off season…

    • emic 5 years ago

      Soriano certainly didn’t come off the “trash heap”….

    • emic 5 years ago

      Soriano certainly didn’t come off the “trash heap”….

  20. Motor_City_Bombshell 5 years ago

    I was excited…until I saw the dollar amount. He better amount to at least around his 2010 numbers at least 2 out of the 3 years of this contract, or it will be a failure in my book. At least the Tigers are openly committed to fielding a contending team, that much I can appreciate. But I wish DD wouldn’t throw the money around so foolishly…

    • FunkyTime 5 years ago

      His 2010 numbers are unmatchable. But if he pitches well this deal could still be worth it.

      After next year he may be the closer, and this contract is much less out of line for a closer.

  21. Motor_City_Bombshell 5 years ago

    I was excited…until I saw the dollar amount. He better amount to at least around his 2010 numbers at least 2 out of the 3 years of this contract, or it will be a failure in my book. At least the Tigers are openly committed to fielding a contending team, that much I can appreciate. But I wish DD wouldn’t throw the money around so foolishly…

  22. touchmymonkey 5 years ago

    probably could have gotten kerry wood for 2yr/$9m and gotten similar results with less years and money. Unless they think of him as a closer and trade valverde

    • verlander 5 years ago

      Kerry Wood probably wouldn’t have come here. He rejected the Tigers the last time he was a free agent.

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        Darn. Pick another one of the 20 relievers available then and spend your money on a position whose ceiling is higher than 1.5 WAR.

        • ugen64 5 years ago

          Koji Uehara? I’m guessing like 2 years / $5 million with incentives

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        Darn. Pick another one of the 20 relievers available then and spend your money on a position whose ceiling is higher than 1.5 WAR.

    • verlander 5 years ago

      Kerry Wood probably wouldn’t have come here. He rejected the Tigers the last time he was a free agent.

  23. RedSox2219 5 years ago

    Really? Overpay much?

    • dskirsa 5 years ago

      Yea…it’s almost like paying $51M for negotiating rights.

  24. RedSox2219 5 years ago

    Really? Overpay much?

  25. Looks like the market has recovered. I remember two years ago when everyone was signing cheaply.

    • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

      If you look at this signing and the John Buck signing, it looks like cash is going to start pouring from the sky.

      Frankly, I was enjoying the previous year’s market corrections. Although none of us like what the overall economy has been for the past two years, it was nice to see MLB pay come back towards levels where more teams could compete for talent.

      • wickedkevin 5 years ago

        I was a fan of the lack of interest for DH types expecting $7m+

      • wickedkevin 5 years ago

        I was a fan of the lack of interest for DH types expecting $7m+

    • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

      If you look at this signing and the John Buck signing, it looks like cash is going to start pouring from the sky.

      Frankly, I was enjoying the previous year’s market corrections. Although none of us like what the overall economy has been for the past two years, it was nice to see MLB pay come back towards levels where more teams could compete for talent.

    • bas_in_denmark 5 years ago

      I think this is excatly what’s going on. This might also mean that the top end guys will end up with better deals than what we have anticipated up until now (especially in terms of years).

    • bas_in_denmark 5 years ago

      I think this is excatly what’s going on. This might also mean that the top end guys will end up with better deals than what we have anticipated up until now (especially in terms of years).

    • Nicolas_C 5 years ago

      At this rate, we’ll see Jermaine Dye get a 1 year, 8 million dollar deal

  26. tiger313 5 years ago

    One way to look at this is would you rather have Magglio’s 15 mil contract and the three contracts signed thus far (inge, peralta, and benoit) or have the three contracts without the 15 mil. For the first year of these contracts equal out to maggs 15 mil.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Or, another way to look at this, is that it’s a terrible signing by Dave Dombrowski.

  27. verlander 5 years ago

    lol at people freaking out over Benoit.

    • firealyellon 5 years ago

      nope. a lot of people perplexed by stupidity.

  28. verlander 5 years ago

    lol at people freaking out over Benoit.

  29. Wockenfuss 5 years ago

    Lot of if’s with this deal, but if Valverde and Benoit repeat there 2010 seasons and if Zumaya stays healthy with Ryan Perry thrown in the mix, this could be a damn good bullpen ! ! !

    Now lets go get Carl Crawford ! ! !

    • TartanElk 5 years ago

      Please tell me that you’re joking by saying if Zumaya stays healthy. He couldn’t stay healthy if being healthy depended on him playing Guitar Hero all the time.

      Oh well, at least we have his brother in the minors. Tell Joel to teach Richard how to throw that fast and we can proceed to having another Zumaya ruin his arm year after year.

  30. Wockenfuss 5 years ago

    Lot of if’s with this deal, but if Valverde and Benoit repeat there 2010 seasons and if Zumaya stays healthy with Ryan Perry thrown in the mix, this could be a damn good bullpen ! ! !

    Now lets go get Carl Crawford ! ! !

  31. Wockenfuss 5 years ago

    Lots of if’s with this deal, but if Valverde and Benoit remotely repeat there 2010 seasons and if Zumaya stays healthy with Ryan Perry thrown in the mix, this could be a damn good bullpen ! ! !

    Now lets go get Carl Crawford ! ! !

  32. Wockenfuss 5 years ago

    Lots of if’s with this deal, but if Valverde and Benoit remotely repeat there 2010 seasons and if Zumaya stays healthy with Ryan Perry thrown in the mix, this could be a damn good bullpen ! ! !

    Now lets go get Carl Crawford ! ! !

  33. verlander 5 years ago

    Did you think they were going to sign him for another one-year league minimum contract? Jesus. The Tigers just added one of the premier relievers available. I’ll save my freaking out for the Crawfords/Martinezes/Dunns/Werths/etc.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Yes, one of the many, plentiful good right-handed arms. And they paid $17M for him after he sat out all of 2009 and posted the best numbers of his career at age 33. He’ll now need to duplicate those numbers from ages 33-36 in order to justify the value of this contract.

      Good luck Joaquin! When equally talented relievers are signing for half this price in a couple of months, you can thank your agent and Dave Dombrowski.

      • dskirsa 5 years ago

        The Yankees overpay half their team and they manage to make it past the LDS each year.

        If Benoit doesn’t match his 2010 numbers, but still helps the Tiger’s get past the Twins then I’m not going to whine about overpaying.

        • Yeah but the Tigers aren’t the Yankees. They have money but they can’t afford to have half their players performing below their contracts and expect to beat the Twins.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Yes, one of the many, plentiful good right-handed arms. And they paid $17M for him after he sat out all of 2009 and posted the best numbers of his career at age 33. He’ll now need to duplicate those numbers from ages 33-36 in order to justify the value of this contract.

      Good luck Joaquin! When equally talented relievers are signing for half this price in a couple of months, you can thank your agent and Dave Dombrowski.

  34. verlander 5 years ago

    Did you think they were going to sign him for another one-year league minimum contract? Jesus. The Tigers just added one of the premier relievers available. I’ll save my freaking out for the Crawfords/Martinezes/Dunns/Werths/etc.

  35. Benoit is a good pitcher but I always have a bad feeling about more than 2 years given to a non closer. Hopefully I am wrong in this one.

  36. Benoit is a good pitcher but I always have a bad feeling about more than 2 years given to a non closer. Hopefully I am wrong in this one.

  37. DutchTiger 5 years ago

    Only time will tell if this will be a good or bad deal. If Benoit has found something with the Rays last year that allows him to keep performing like he did, then this is a good deal.
    Don’t forget the fact he is a veteran with post-season experience. I think he will be a great addition to the very young bullpen the Tigers have at the moment.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Yes, the all-important postseason experience. Benoit was with the Rays for five games in this past postseason, which undoubtedly makes him worth the extra year and extra $1-2M annual salary he received.

  38. DutchTiger 5 years ago

    Only time will tell if this will be a good or bad deal. If Benoit has found something with the Rays last year that allows him to keep performing like he did, then this is a good deal.
    Don’t forget the fact he is a veteran with post-season experience. I think he will be a great addition to the very young bullpen the Tigers have at the moment.

  39. Wockenfuss 5 years ago

    Back-off Dave D. people.

    Sure he has given out a few bad contracts (Willis, Robertson, C. Guillen) and made a bad trade (Infante for J. Jones) now and then, but which GM hasn’t?

    But this guy has acquired Cabrera for Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin.

    Traded for Polanco and gave up Ugueth Urbina and Ramon Martinez.

    Signed Maggs, Kenny Rogers and Pudge to deals that worked out fine.

    I think he’s a great GM and Illitch is an incredible owner ! ! !

    • ToledoFan 5 years ago

      AGREED. 100%

      Given what he inhereted in 2002, he turned a laughing stock of a team into a WS team in 4 years. He then kept them competative or at least in the discussion ever since. Sure, injuries came up and made some of his extensions look bad in the long run, but outside of the Willis extension and maybe Robertson’s extension, the deals he made looked good at the time. Given everything he’s done, I’d give him a B+ overall.

      • Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

        Clearly he has done a great job. His only faults have been occasionally overpaying, but its hard to get players to want to play in Detroit. My main beef with him was the Renteria-Jair Jurrgens trade. God that was awful but Renteria was coming off a good season and the Tigers had a need at SS.

    • ToledoFan 5 years ago

      AGREED. 100%

      Given what he inhereted in 2002, he turned a laughing stock of a team into a WS team in 4 years. He then kept them competative or at least in the discussion ever since. Sure, injuries came up and made some of his extensions look bad in the long run, but outside of the Willis extension and maybe Robertson’s extension, the deals he made looked good at the time. Given everything he’s done, I’d give him a B+ overall.

    • airohpue13 5 years ago

      How did you not mention the Jair Jurrjens/Edgar Renteria trade? I knew that was awful the second I heard about it.

      • Or the Pudge/ Farnsworth trade. Or the French/ Washburn trade. Or how he was at fault years ago for giving the Twins Johan Santana from the Marlins for some no name who’s never broken into the major leagues. Did you also mention Bonderman as a bad contract? What about re-signing Adam Everett and Gerald Laird? He got put into an organization with a lot of money to spend and the owner to make it happen. He’s just a terrible GM and his job wouldn’t be on the line if that weren’t true. He better do some serious work soon. Benoit is a good start, now let’s see these Adam Dunn rumors unfold.

        • 1) Pudge – Farnsworth: An aging catcher, who can’t take a walk along with a vast decline in his performance at the plate besides OBP, on a team in need of relievers. What did you expect the return to be from this deal for Detroit? Phil Hughes?n
          2)Washburn – French: A team bound for the playoffs, trying to solidify their rotation with a lefty starter having an outstanding season. Washburn has one good start and is eventually injured for the remainder of the year. But, Luke French is far from a highly coveted prospect, as I believe he was put on waivers this summer by the Mariners, and was able to return to the team. A back end starter, in the bast case scenario, I do not see the French being much of a loss.
          3)Bonderman was not a bad contract, I repeat Jeremy Bonderman’s contract was not a bad one, but one that unfortunately for player and team did not work out as planned. I know Dombrowski, should have projected Bonderman’s fluke life threatening blood clot, but instead he did what smart GM’s do – sign their young number two starter coming off his best season, including strong playoff performances, to a multi-year deal. 4 years reaching a max of $12.5 million, is not cheap, but Verlander was coming off a rookie season, and Bondo might be have be seen as ace 1B in the rotation, so his contract made perfect sense.
          4) Adam Everett – A shortstop known for his defense, is resigned for a whopping $1 million, such extravagance!
          5) Gerald Laird – An excellent defensive catcher for the team in 2009, Laird agrees to a salary of $3.95 million. Without much depth at this position, the Tigers needed Laird in 2010, plus only a year after traded for him, his hitting was supposed to be improve from 2009 numbers, but he didn’t and he is now not a free agent.

          – Dombrowski is a good GM, and even if you disagree with me, how can you say he is a terrible GM? He is not Randy Smith, and he set up a 2011 season with enough young talent under team control, along with so much money coming off the books that he can spend on our needs, without taking the team’s payroll to unsustainable levels of recent (115 million plus).

          • Excellent. Nothing more needs to be said.

          • Pawsdeep 5 years ago

            Lest we not forget the Jackson/coke/scherzer/shlereth for grandy and and Jackson. People in Detroit were callin for his blood as that one happened and now DD is looking like a freaking genius for that move.
            You gotta commend a guy who’s willing to take a risk to try and win, and DD definitely does that.

  40. bas_in_denmark 5 years ago

    These early signings (Especially Buck and Benoit) make me think that after a couple of years with depressed markets, the money is starting to come back into free agency. Especially to the middle tier of players who were really hurt by the declining economy are getting good (from the players’ perspective) deals. Do you think that’s what’s going on here?

  41. ToledoFan 5 years ago

    True that they way overpaid for this guy, but he is one of the best relievers out there by far.
    If they go out and get a quality lefty reliever and the BP should be pretty solid.Closer: ValverdeRH Setup: Perry & BenoitLH Setup: TBDLefty special: SchlerethRighty: Zumaya (if healthy)/WeinhardtLong Relief : Whoever dosen’t make the rotation next year, thinking Galaragga if the Tigers aquire a starter and move Coke to the rotation.

    • Civilization 5 years ago

      Zach Miner is going to be the long man…

      • verlander 5 years ago

        //Zach Miner is going to be the long man…//

        I would certainly hope not. He had Tommy John during the ’10 season.

        • ToledoFan 5 years ago

          Yeah, last I heard his return was projected at mid 2011… and then you need to see if he can still pitch effectivly.

      • ToledoFan 5 years ago

        Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing one of the starters at Toledo be the long man out of the BP in 2011, if they don’t sign a FA starter and both Coke and Galla make the rotation.

        Oliver, Furbush, Garnier, Ketchner Figaro…
        All of them are either still working to develop ML stuff for starting (Oliver, Furbush) or they are a classic AAAA player but they could be effective as a long reliever (Figaro, Ketchner).

    • They SHOULD keep Coke in the lefty setup place and go get a starter, but we’ll have to see what happens.

      • mikeindcarea 5 years ago

        rumor that Tigers will pursue J.C. Romero now. Would that be enough to allow Coke to leave the ‘pen?

  42. tigers22 5 years ago

    I love this move. He’ll take over for Valverde after this year and if Zumaya comes back healthy… watch out. 7-8-9 will be locked down

  43. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    The Tigers just got the second-best reliever available this offseason without giving up a draft pick. A guy thats proven to be capable to shut down the AL East. If he can shut down the hitters in the AL East, he’s more than capable in any other division. He would surely have signed as a closer elsewhere for the same money had DD not been willing to fork over the dough. With yet another awesome piece to the bullpen, the Tigers can afford to make a big splash trading some of their abundant pitching prospects. Don’t be surprised to see the Tigers make the biggest trade of the offseason really soon.

  44. Tko11 5 years ago

    Wow so how much will downs sign for??

  45. 16.5M is definitely a lot for Benoit, but he would be my number one choice of anybody available, especially in the role the Tigers need from a relief pitcher. Soriano costs a first round pick, Downs is consistently very solid, but the upside is huge with Benoit, plus he is the ideal guy to try to pitch out of a jam. 11.2 K/9 to 1.6 BB/9

  46. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    he got a little more than Brandon Lyon last year but is a heck of a lot better pitcher. Relievers should take note of this. SIGN EARLY

  47. BravesAndTigers 5 years ago

    I thought we overpaid, and if Benoit gets hurt we’re pissing a lot of cash away (and it’s obviously a possibility), but it’s nice to see the end of the games are gonna be tough to wrest from DET’s grasp.

    Another classic example of a player needing one good bounce back year to get a payday.

  48. I don’t mind this move… the price is a little high but if you look at Benoit’s 2010 stats I think there’s reason to believe that he can do very well in 2011-13. Specifically, he cut down his walks a lot in ’10 (1.6/9 in ’10 vs. 4.3/9 prior to ’10).

    I think this is less likely to be a fluke than a deliberate adjustment, and he’s always had nasty stuff (8.2 K/9 in his 8 years with Texas when he was still issuing 4.3 BB/9). The Tigers pitching coach is also known for his “pound the strike zone” philosophy, so there are some good signs there.

  49. Heliosphan 5 years ago

    If he disappoints, he’ll be booed like Jason Grilli, so I hope he’s prepared. That being said, he plays well, and Zumaya can manage to keep his right arm attached to his shoulder, the Tigers will be really set after the 6th inning. Too bad Leyland screwed up Ryan Perry already.

  50. mikeindcarea 5 years ago

    Other middle reliever current or ending this season deals (years/avg millions per year):
    marte – 3/4
    romero – 3/4
    linebrink – 4/4.75
    lyon – 3/5
    rodney – 2/5.5

    This is unfortunate, but player values are determined more by benchmarks created by other players’ salaries than by Fangraphs. Meaning, Benoit was going to get a 3 year deal and $5m+ a year to be a middle reliever (more if he was signed to close) because of the list of slugs that signed similar contracts and performed at lower levels.

    • Pawsdeep 5 years ago

      We’ve already had two guys on that list and took the best they had to offer and let them walk when their talents were obviously tapped out. Benoit still has better stuff than everyone in your list and I’d rather see them over pay talent that end up getting stuck with a mediocre bullpen.

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