The Detroit Tigers have admitted that they are seeking trades for additional arms in their struggling bullpen. While general manager Dave Dombrowski has previously said that he is not shopping for closers or set-up type guys, it’s hard to imagine that he won’t at least take a look at a former member of the Tigers in Joaquin Benoit.
Familiarity has to play a role in these negotiations, after all; the Tigers know Benoit and his stuff and know that he can contribute meaningfully in a playoff race. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports raises the possibility of a reunion between Benoit and the Tigers:
The Tigers refrained from re-signing free-agent right-hander Joaquin Benoit last offseason because they didn’t want to pay him closer money. But Benoit, who is holding opponents to a .203 batting average and .449 OPS with the Padres, still makes sense for his former team…
…Benoit, who turns 37 on July 26, is owed about $3 million this season and $8 million next season with an $8 million team option or $1.5 million buyout for 2016.
It is all but a certainty that the Padres will trade both Benoit and Huston Street given the relative weakness of the market for relief pitchers as the July 31st trade deadline approaches. For a team that is going to tear things down and rebuild under new front office leadership, trading those relievers will be a good place to start.
When those trade talks start in earnest, it makes sense that the Tigers will be one of the first in line to talk about acquiring Benoit.