Results tagged ‘ Joaquin Benoit ’
These days, the Hot Stove is all about Masahiro Tanaka.
Now officially the hottest commodity on the market after being posted by his Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Tanaka “finds himself in the perfect storm,” as Major League clubs vie for his services, writes our Tracy Ringolsby. With the posting fee — which goes to the Eagles — now capped at $20 million, Tanaka is sure to make more money than other recent Japanese exports.
One of the clubs that appears set to offer Tanaka big bucks is the Yankees, who already have reached out to the 25-year-old’s representatives.
In other news from around the league on Saturday:
- The Padres announced their two-year contract with reliever Joaquin Benoit, with the veteran righty set to earn a guaranteed $15.5 million in the deal, which also includes an option for 2016. General manager Josh Byrnes also said the club will try to add one or two more relievers this offseason.
- Mark Mulder is reportedly focusing on the West Coast as he tries to make a comeback after an injury-induced five-year absence from the Major Leagues.
- The Royals signed infielder Jason Donald and outfielder Melky Mesa to Minor League deals.
– Andrew Simon
The Padres are close to adding a back-end reliever since losing setup man Luke Gregerson, CBS Sports‘ Jon Heyman reports. San Diego and former Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit are apparently close to finalizing a two-year agreement worth $15.5 million. The deal is pending a physical.
Benoit moved into the closer’s role for Detroit last year, but he is expected to serve as setup man for Huston Street in San Diego.
The 36-year-old veteran was steady over three years with Detroit, posting a 2.89 ERA in 205 appearances.
The Padres traded Gregerson to Oakland two weeks ago for Seth Smith.
Heyman also reported the Padres are still seeking a left-handed reliever, but intend to hold onto third baseman Chase Headley.
– Joey Nowak
The pool of potential closers available on the free-agent market shrank on Tuesday, when the Hot Stove was focused on relief pitching.
The Orioles were on the hunt for a closer after trading Jim Johnson to the A’s earlier this offseason, and they now appear set to use some of the savings from that deal on Oakland’s former closer. Grant Balfour, who saved 38 games for the A’s in 2013, reportedly is in agreement on a two-year contract with Baltimore.
The Cubs also might have snatched up a new ninth-inning man after reaching a reported one-year pact with Jose Veras. That would leave Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, Rafael Betancourt and Chris Perez among a dwindling group of free agents with recent success as closers. The Padres appear to be targeting Benoit for an eighth-inning role in front of Huston Street.
In other news from around the league:
- Highly touted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has informed his Nippon Professional Baseball club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, that he wants to be made available to Major League teams. But even with NPB and MLB having a new posting agreement in place, the Eagles do not have to post Tanaka, and it appears they might be reluctant to do so.
- One club that figures to pursue Tanaka if he becomes available is Arizona, which is looking to add more starting pitching this offseason.
- The Yankees are close to signing a pair of veteran players, reportedly reaching an agreement on a one-year deal with second baseman Brian Roberts and a two-year contract with left-handed reliever Matt Thornton. Meanwhile, New York still would like to add free agent Mark Reynolds but is facing competition from the Angels and Twins, among others, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network. Jeff Baker is another veteran bat drawing interest from the club, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
- The Braves’ search for additional starting pitching likely concluded with Monday’s signing of Gavin Floyd to a one-year contract, despite the fact that the righty won’t be ready until May as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Atlanta had explored trades for the likes of the Rays’ David Price and the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija but found the asking prices too steep.
- Our Tom Singer checks in on free-agent righty A.J. Burnett, who has yet to make a decision about whether to retire, return to the Pirates or perhaps pitch for another team. It’s a delay that is making things difficult for Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington.
- After losing out on Juan Uribe, the Marlins continue to search for a third baseman. The club is looking at both free agents and trade possibilities.
- The Mets’ top priority is to trade one of its first basemen, Ike Davis or Lucas Duda. The Brewers and Pirates are the two remaining clubs that seem like obvious trade partners for such a deal. Pittsburgh is interested in both Davis and the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland, according to Heyman.
- The Cardinals’ recent signing of free-agent second baseman Mark Ellis likely will turn out to be their last significant move of the offseason, as GM John Mozeliak acknowledged on Tuesday.
- On the other hand, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said his club still is looking hard at free agents, with the bullpen one area to address. Houston already has signed relievers Chad Qualls and Matt Albers.
– Andrew Simon
It was the Marlins who staked their claim in Orlando on Tuesday, when they traded Dan Uggla to the Braves and agreed on a three-year contract with John Buck. Wednesday is the day of the Tigers, apparently. The club agreed on a three-year, $16.5 million contract with setup man Joaquin Benoit, according to reports. Also, Detroit is said to be going after power-hitting lefty outfielder/first baseman/potential designated hitter Adam Dunn.
SI.com first reported the two sides were quickly coming together on a
deal, but ESPN.com followed up by saying nothing is imminent just yet.
Here’s more from the second full day of the General Managers Meetings …
* Diamondbacks new general manager Kevin Towers is apparently kicking the tires on a potential trade of franchise player Justin Upton.
The Red Sox, according to USA Today, are said to be the ideal
candidate, but the New York Post wrote that the Marlins and Rays — and
perhaps the Yankees — are prime candidates.
* White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that he would’ve let manager Ozzie Guillen go
to the Marlins if they would’ve given up the specific high-level player
he sought. Reinsdorf didn’t say who, but he denied it was Mike Stanton.
* In need of a lefty bat, the White Sox have engaged in talks with Hideki Matsui,
according to SI.com. Matsui expressed interest in a return to the
Angels, but they’d like to keep DH a revolving door with so many
veterans in their lineup.
* Six to eight teams have spoken to free-agent starter Carl Pavano, according to The Washington Post, which names the Nationals as one of them. The Marlins, a source told MLB.com, are another.
* The Athletics traded speedy outfielder Rajai Davis to the Blue Jays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Trystan Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar, the club announced. Toronto also released right-hander Shawn Hill.
* The Rockies have expressed interest in A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to The Denver Post, which added that Jose Lopez, Jorge Cantu and Ty Wigginton are also on the club’s radar.
* Brandon Webb is also reportedly drawing interest. According to
ESPN.com, the Dodgers, Pirates, Twins and Rangers have shown interest in
* Seven to eight teams are reportedly interested in Jorge de la Rosa,
who is one of the top free-agent starters once you get past Cliff Lee.
The Rockies are a team that would like to keep him, but not if he gets an offer eclipsing four years.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Tigers had interest in Joaquin Benoit last year coming off surgery before he emerged as one of baseball’s best comeback stories. Now that he has proven himself healthy, he could soon be setting up in Detroit.
Benoit and the Tigers are nearing an agreement on a multi-year deal, according to FOXSports.com. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported the terms as three years and $16.5 million. A source confirmed interest between the two, but the Tigers would not comment on any contract.
While Detroit’s interest in upgrading its offense has been long-reported, some in the organization pegged relief help as just as big of a need. Among those was manager Jim Leyland, who juggled arms last year in a bullpen depleted by injuries and inexperience as the season wore on.
Phil Coke ended up handling setup duties for the majority of the season, but the Tigers plan to move him into the rotation for next year. That left a gaping hole for eighth-inning setup work behind closer Jose Valverde, who had his share of high-pitch outings when having to enter in the eighth for a four- or five-out save.
Enter Benoit, whose fastball regained much of its old life following rotator cuff surgery two years ago. He missed the entire 2009 season in rehab, then lingered on the free-agent market before agreeing to a minor-league contract with the Rays as Spring Training began.
The deal turned out to be one of baseball’s best bargains. Benoit had a career year in the Tampa Bay bullpen, allowing just 30 hits over 60 1/3 innings with 11 walks and 75 strikeouts. Opponents batted just .194 against him, and he allowed just 2 out of 23 inherited runners to score.
– Jason Beck