News comes fast and furious during the hot stove season. It was just about an hour from the time reports that Joaquin Benoit and the Detroit Tigers were nearing a deal to the time that MLB Trade Rumors reported the deal was done.
At first glance, the three year deal worth $16.5 million with an additional $1 million available each year in incentives seems like a hefty sum. The interesting point to keep in mind is, as MLBTR mentions, that Benoit could become the front runner to become the Tigers next closer. Should that come to fruition this deal might be a bargain.
The future can worry about itself so let’s limit the discussion to the 2011 season for the time being. At the very least the signing of Joaquin gives the Tigers a dependable set-up man in front of Jose Valverde, especially important considering the Tigers’ plans to send Phil Coke to the starting rotation. I’m still not convinced that it will happen that way and prefer the possibility of Benoit and Coke forming a righty-lefty set-up tandem but Dave Dombrowski hasn’t asked for my opinion as of the writing of this article.
Bullpen help always seems to be a need for just about every team so I like the Tigers addressing this early in free agency. What began as a team strength early in the 2010 season decayed into a mess later in the year. Adding one of the top relievers on the market is a good way to infuse some talent into the group. If you’re going to add someone (can we agree the Tigers needed to?) you might as well make it one of the best available. While the dollar totals might be bigger than expected, they won’t be prohibitive to the rest of the Tigers’ off-season plans.
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