The Padres are rumored to be in the hunt for relief pitching, and from the looks of it, they have money to burn. Here is your round-up on relief pitching rumors:
Oliver Perez: The Padres were rumored to be interested in the 32-year old lefty. A former Padre, Perez posted a 3.74 ERA out of the Seattle Mariners‘ bullpen last season. Josh Byrnes said that at one point he was interested in Perez, but recently he was quoted as saying that the Padres are no longer interested in him.
John Axford: The Padres were rumored to have checked in on Axford, but he recently signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians. This is of major significance to the Padres because the Indians are presumably off the market for a closer. The two teams were competing against each other in exchange for the next pitcher on our list.
Joaquin Benoit: The Padres have offered a deal worth 14 million dollars over 2 years to one of the top relievers in the game. Benoit posted a 2.01 ERA last season for Detroit. The Indians were rumored to be interested in Benoit as well, but they seem to have dropped out of the sweepstakes for the set-up man by signing former closer John Axford. Benoit represents a serious upgrade over Dale Thayer, the next in line.
Scott Downs: Since 2007, Downs has averaged an ERA of 2.33 and thrown 54 innings a year. The 37-year old southpaw has drawn interest from the Padres, but there has been little news since, with the exception of the Padres losing interest in reliever Oliver Perez.
Ideal Bullpen Moves:
- Sign Joaquin Benoit for 2/14 with a club option for a 3rd year.
- Sign Scott Downs to a 1 year deal worth 3 million dollars.
The bullpen would then look like this: Huston Street (CL), Joaquin Benoit (SU), Nick Vincent (SU), Brad Boxberger (MR), Dale Thayer (MR), Scott Downs (LS), Burch Smith (LR). This potential bullpen would have a very strong back-end and include guys with playoff experience.