MLB news: Indians make 2-year offer to Joaquin Benoit

Jason Miller

The Indians continue to seek an upgrade for the bullpen.

The Indians have made an offer of at least 2 years, $14 million to relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit, who would presumably be used as the team's new closer, this according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, who reports that the Padres have a similar offer out to Benoit.

Benoit (right-handed) has been a very good relief pitcher during his career, the last three years of which were spent with the Tigers:

Year Age Tm ERA G SV IP HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011 33 DET 2.95 66 2 61.0 5 17 63 141 1.049 0.7 2.5 9.3
2012 34 DET 3.68 73 2 71.0 14 22 84 116 1.141 1.8 2.8 10.6
2013 35 DET 2.01 66 24 67.0 5 22 73 209 1.030 0.7 3.0 9.8
DET (3 yrs) 2.89 205 28 199.0 24 61 220 146 1.075 1.1 2.8 9.9

Benoit spent much of 2013 as Detroit's closer, and would likely fill that role with the Indians, were he to agree to a deal. Given that he was better in 2013 than any Tribe reliever, and has a longer track record of success than any of the team's current bullpen arms, I certainly think he represents an upgrade, and in the current market, $7 million isn't a bad price for a good reliever (though the report says the offer is for "$14M+," meaning it may be for more than $7M annually), but as I've said when the Indians were talking with Grant Balfour (who would likely be more expensive) and reportedly made an offer to John Axford (who would likely be less expensive), I don't think the Indians should be signing any relief pitcher for much money.

I haven't seen any reports that the team intends to enter 2014 with something like an $95M payroll, and if there's only one more significant addition to come, I'd prefer it be a starting pitcher (though at this point the list of quality free agent starters available for under $50 millon doesn't have many names on it).

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UPDATE:

Fine by me.

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