Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com are reporting free agent relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit has signed with the Padres. The deal is for two years, $15.5 million, and is pending a physical.
Sources: Joaquin Benoit deal with San Diego is done, pending physical.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 18, 2013
benoit deal is $15.5M for 2 yrs. pending physical
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 18, 2013
Benoit will most likely be the setup man for closer Huston Street, although he had 24 saves in 26 opportunities in 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. Jeff Sanders of the U~T San Diego made a good point in his recent column that Benoit can takeover closing duties if Street goes on the disabled list in 2014. Therefore, Benoit is an upgrade over Luke Gregerson as the setup man, and is versatile enough to be our closer when necessary.
Benoit had a great year in 2013. He had a 2.01 ERA and allowed only 47 hits in 67 innings pitched. His WHIP was a career-best 1.03, and he struck out 73 batters.
The question remains whether or not the Padres have the offense to win more games than not? Benoit and Street will keep leads safe, but do we have the offensive firepower to take the lead in the first place? If the Padres come back healthy, I believe we do.