Padres, Indians Competing For Joaquin Benoit

4:59pm: An official with knowledge of the talks tells ESPN's Buster Olney that the Padres are in the lead for Benoit (Twitter link).

2:05pm: The Padres and Indians are both in on Benoit at two years and $14MM or more, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The Padres' offer may include a third-year option, he adds.

12:01pm: The Padres are making a strong push for free agent right-hander Joaquin Benoit, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

The move would come as somewhat of a surprise, given GM Josh Byrnes' previous aversion to multiyear pacts for relief pitchers. Huston Street is the only reliever to sign a significant multiyear deal with the Padres during Byrnes' tenure.

Benoit, 36, posted a 2.01 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 with 24 saves in 67 innings for the Tigers in 2013. He's drawn interest from the Rockies, but he was said to be too expensive for Colorado's tastes, as he's seeking $7-10MM annually. Reports yesterday indicated that the Padres were one of the most likely landing spots for Benoit, along with the Indians, Cubs,  Yankees and Mariners.

58 Responses to Padres, Indians Competing For Joaquin Benoit Leave a Reply

  1. Noah Eli 2 years ago

    I love this idea. Benoit>Gregerson. Shocked that he isn’t going for a closer’s role.

    • Barry2 2 years ago

      You should hoping beyond all means because Benoit a good pitcher. He is fun to watch because he can make hitters look like a fool with his secondary pitches. He does allow the odd fastball to catch a lot of the plate though. he usually keeps his change-up down except against Ortiz.

  2. slasher016 2 years ago

    They’re signing him so they can trade him mid-season.

    • Flowseidon 2 years ago

      It’s going to be a 2-3 year deal with a high annual salary for a relief pitcher which makes a midseason trade unlikely. Only the Marlins pull off that kind of nonsense.

      • YODA777 2 years ago

        It does; however, make a trade of Street at mid-season very likely.

  3. Mario Saavedra 2 years ago

    Let´s trade Gregerson for nothing se we have to sign Benoit, an older and riskier pitcher, for 9MM per year. Nice moves Byrnes, nice moves…

    • johnnycomelately9 2 years ago

      Benoit > Gregerson.

      Expect a Gregerson decline. If you watch him pitch you saw that he was shakier than his numbers.

  4. S Chen 2 years ago

    i rather have him than Street for closer though.

  5. John Cate 2 years ago

    The Padres reminded him that they play in the league which doesn’t contain Big Papi!

  6. SDOurTeamOurTown 2 years ago

    Well, if nothing else, Byrnes keeps you guessing.

  7. Beersy 2 years ago

    Interesting, Bill Center insinuated that the Padres maybe knew sometihng was up with Gregerson and that is why they pulled the trigger, this only helps with that line of thinking. A back end of Benoit and Street looks good though, maybe a little pricey, but looks good.

    • cjmsd 2 years ago

      The issue with Gregerson is that if his slider is off just a little he gets smacked around. He has no secondary pitch.

      • Beersy 2 years ago

        Oh I know that, but he had been a stalwart for the Padres for years and then to let him go for such perceived low return was a little surprising. Not sure if you are a Padre fan or not, but I am hoping that Byrnes, Black and Balsley know more about pitching than I do.

      • Donald Munson 2 years ago

        I’ve been saying the exact same thing for a couple years. I never understood why they didn’t make sure his slider was working before bringing him in the game. When he would give up a hit to the first batter he should have been pulled EVERYTIME. He was either completely lights out or a batting practice pitcher.

      • Bill Smith 2 years ago

        See that idea is puzzling to me…I try to imagine when he’s warming up in the bullpen; is he 1) throwing perfect, and the slider is breaking like it should, so they call for him to come in, or 2) he’s throwing and the slider is all over the place, yet they still call for him to come in? Sure as heck seems to me that the bullpen coach would say “hey skip, he ain’t got it tonight, let’s go to plan B”.

  8. USMC53 2 years ago

    In my next life, I’m coming back as an 8th or 9th inning relief pitcher. This money is unbelievable!

    • SDOurTeamOurTown 2 years ago

      Since you’re going with the reincarnation … come back left handed as well!

  9. Daniel 2 years ago

    Very hard to understand WHY….36 year old RP to SD ? Think he would be part of a contender…..Offense still not helped unless Benoit can also hit !

    • Dylan C 2 years ago

      It’s not at all inconceivable to think the Padres will contend next year. They have a nice rotation featuring Cashner, Ross, Kennedy, J. Johnson, and Stults, plus an offense that ranked as league average last year. it’s funny–no one ever sees the little guys coming. Since SD has indeed had a poor offense from 2002-2012, it’s assumed that the lineup was poor in 2013. Simply put, it wasn’t.

      • Dylan C 2 years ago

        That said, not sure Byrnes’s recent moves are what get them there…

      • Daniel 2 years ago

        Not sure how offense is average – Out of 15 NL teams, Pads ranked 12th in Runs and BA..13th in SLG and OPS while ranking 4th in K’s….Only area were Pads excelled was SB’s ranking 4th….PItching was more average even with injuries as they came in between 6-10th in most meaningful statistics…Clearly need offense if you ask me…Small ball type players that can make contact…

        • YODA777 2 years ago

          If it weren’t for injuries, the Padres would have finished above 500 last year. The short time where all of their starters were playing together, the Padres had a very good record. There is nothing preventing the Padres from having injury issues again in 2014, but if they do not and Headley hits like he did in September and in 2012, the Padres will be a contender for a wild card.

          • dvmin98 2 years ago

            I unfortunately was on hand for their collapse in the end of June in Miami. Went for the weekend and both games I went to, they were horrible. From that first game where Stanton jacked one over my head while I was lounging in the Clevelander, they were done for. Sad sad sad. But at least the weekend was fun!

        • Dylan Ramirez 2 years ago

          When figuring in park adjustments they were league average.

    • briankoke 2 years ago

      Well, the offense was helped some by trading Gregerson. Now they are looking to upgrade from Gregerson. Benoit could be that upgrade.

  10. bob smit 2 years ago

    Cmon Indians!! Open up that pocket book!

    • Greg David 2 years ago

      Rather see them open it for a starter, maybe try to replace one of the two they wouldn’t open the pocketbook for

  11. Fernando 2 years ago

    So 2/$14MM for Benoit, but not 3/$15MM for Joe Smith? I can’t see the Indians spending that much on a reliever.

    • Flowseidon 2 years ago

      I think the Indians view Benoit as a closer so that’s why they’re willing to bid more. Joe Smith would have just been an expensive reliever.

    • MikeTroutForMayor 2 years ago

      Was it confirmed that Joe Smith took less money from the Angels so that he could be closer to his wife who works in LA?

      • bob smit 2 years ago

        It was one of the reasons, but to drop 15 mil for 3 years of a reliever who isn’t a closer, whose numbers don’t necessarily add up to justify that much… there were other reasons why they didn’t sign him in Cleveland.

      • Shin_Soo_Choo 2 years ago

        That was part of the reason, but Smith did not accept less money from LA. The Indians would not give him a third year.

  12. briankoke 2 years ago

    I like this idea. He’s better than Gregerson and he could close in 2015 if Street is gone.

    • $38216881 2 years ago

      Trust me, Street will be gone by 2015….

    • $38216881 2 years ago

      Trust me, Street will be gone by 2015….

    • Luke Castor 2 years ago

      He’ll be what, 38 in 2015? If Boxberger doesn’t pan out by then we’re looking for somebody else entirely.

  13. dvmin98 2 years ago

    So who’s the odd man out on the Padres’ 40 man? Do they release someone like Guzman? Not sure who else they could drop, unless they have another trade in place. Blanks most likely wouldnt be.

    • rizdak 2 years ago

      Well Bass is gone now.

      • Chris Nichols 2 years ago

        They picked up schuster in the Rule V so that spot has already been taken.

    • Federalist85 2 years ago

      Now that the Rule V is passed they should be able to move any of the guys they added to protect them (Roach, Sampson, etc.)

      • GreySuit 2 years ago

        The Padres would have to place them on waivers to take them off the 40-man roster

  14. Mr Pike 2 years ago

    Whoever gets him is going to be really happy. He will do the 8th or 9th and do it well.
    He is painfully slow however. He keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting for the last three outs forever.

    • SDOurTeamOurTown 2 years ago

      did not know whether to like or dislike on this observation

      • bob smit 2 years ago

        Can’t be worse than Perez.

        • Greg David 2 years ago

          Or Wood or Borowski or Wicknan or… When was the last time the Indians had a closer that DIDN’T keep you on the edge of your seat?

          • Babs 2 years ago

            I’d say you gotta go all the way back to the 2001 version of Bob Wickman. It’s been awhile.

      • bob smit 2 years ago

        Can’t be worse than Perez.

      • Mr Pike 2 years ago

        He’s good. You will like how effective he is. He just takes forever between pitches.

      • YODA777 2 years ago

        As a fan of both the Tigers [Born in Detroit, raised near Flint] and the Padres [lived in San Diego for 25+ years], I follow both teams very closely. Benoit’s biggest issue is an occasional bout with giving up the home run ball; however, pitching in Petco Park that will not happen as often [not that it happened that often anyway]. With the way Street pitched the second half of 2013 and as solid as Benoit was in 2013, the Padres have just shorted the game to 7 innings. In addition, Nick Vincent was really coming on strong in the second half of 2013. The Padre’s may just have the best pitching staff, top to bottom, in the National League. Their offense was very effective when all the parts were on the field [Padres suffered from significant injury and suspensions in 2013], in fact, they closed to within 1.5 games of first place towards the end of June after having fallen ten games below 500 in the first part of May.

        • SDOurTeamOurTown 2 years ago

          And I agree with you Yoda. I would hope that we have that strong of a pitching staff … and on paper we may very well. Fortunately the staff is very deep (young but talented) because the injuries were devastating last year. It seemed endless last year and I held my breath from spring training on that we’d still have a 1-5 lineup. It seems that in 2010 and before … there were hardly any injuries to the pitching but it has been a MASH unit ever since. As far as the offense … when healthy (and not suspended) they complement very well and are at least a mid grade or better if all healthy. Looking forward to “Let’s play ball”.

  15. Petcopadre 2 years ago

    You know? We may not compete for the pennant this year but things sure do look better. At least we’re talking about and attempting to improve important parts of our team. Benoit would be a great addition. Maybe next year we’ll grow up and get a bigger part (consistent power bat) for our puzzle.

  16. Matt 2 years ago

    If you’re a knowledgeable baseball fan and fan of the Padres, this would make absolutely no sense. You’re going to spend 7 mil on a setup guy when you’re cheap in making other moves and already have a closer? You refuse to sign an everyday offensive player and want to do this? Why not just keep Gregerson and sign or trade for a solid bat? I’m tired of the stupidity of this organization!!!

    • cindyLowe 2 years ago

      It’s actually a pretty smart move. Benoit > Gregerson. Seth Smith > Nate McLouth (which they were rumored to be going after) against righties.

      Overall, the team is better by trading for Smith and signing Benoit than keeping Gregerson and signing a bat.

    • dvmin98 2 years ago

      I think Black and Byrnes know something may be up with Gregerson. There were times last year when he was lights out. There were times last year when he’d give up a hit to the first batter and he was done for. He’s an all or nothing kind of guy. If his slider is off just a bit, it comes in flat and he’s raked. He needs a secondary pitch.

  17. cindyLowe 2 years ago

    Seth Smith > Nate McLouth against righties.
    Benoit > Gregerson.

  18. Bluejays31 2 years ago

    7MM per year for a guy who has limited closing experience? Seems to much to me. I think he have an E.R.A. of 4+ this year

    • dvmin98 2 years ago

      He’s not going to be the closer, so your argument has no merit. Why would he suddenly go to 4+ ERA in a division where he will be playing 81 games at Petco and about 9 or 10 in both Chavez Ravine and AT&T Park? All three are pitchers’ parks.

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