The first Padre card of the trade season was played the other day when San Diego traded closer Huston Street to the Angels in return for bevy of prospects. With the top teams in the NL West running away with the division, the Padres have continued to actively shop players, and the next one to go may be the guy who replaced Street as closer.
Unlike Street, Benoit is still new in the Padres’ organization. The former Detroit Tiger signed a two-year deal with the club last December, but while he and Street may have arrived in the organization at different times, their numbers this year make them appealing to other teams. Street was already swapped, is Benoit next?
In this article from CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, numerous teams have shown interest in trading for the right-handed reliever. The Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Benoit’s former team in Detroit have showed solid intrigue in picking up the veteran. Benoit come with the benefit of having pitched successfully in the bat-heavy American League and is signed through next season, assuring a potential buyer that he won’t bolt them after a couple of months.
Benoit’s performed admirably in the Padres bullpen thus far this season, sporting a 2.04 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP. If he is to be traded, it’d help shore up a contender’s bullpen but leave San Diego’s barren. The trade of Street and the Padres’ poor offense makes the relief pitching even more important, and if the Padres decide to tank the season and trade him it’d leave a major hole in the bullpen. However, if the Padres think they’ll be just as good or barely worse without Benoit in comparison to with him, it could be wise to try to flip him to team looking to win now and willing to trade valuable assets. Still without a GM, the Padres better hope whoever is pulling the strings knows the right choice to make regarding Benoit and other possible San Diego trade bait.