Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Detroit Tigers signed free agent set-up reliever Joaquin Benoit to a three-year deal. Reports vary on the worth. The Detroit News reported that the contract is for $16.5-million with incentives that could add $1-million a year.
Benoit, 33, had a great year with the Rays last season, with a 1.34 ERA and a 0.68 WHiP (walks/hits per inning).
But he has been inconsistent in his career and missed the 2009 season after rotator cuff surgery.
Benoit's contract sets the bar high for other relievers - not good news for the Boston Red Sox, which are in the process of rebuilding their bullpen.
So far, Boston has looked for bargains with high-potential guys who cost very little - Andrew Miller and Taylor Buchholz.
Eventually, the Red Sox will have to take a gamble on a free agent reliever.
Most teams don't like to take such gambles because of the up-and-down nature of relievers' career.
Remember 2006? Boston brought in a couple of veterans who had experienced some success. Rudy Seanez recorded a 4.82 ERA for the Red Sox before Boston released him. Julian Tavarez, signed to a multi-year contract at $3.35-million per, had a 4.47 ERA.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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