When Fredi Gonzalez got canned yesterday, his defenders pointed out that, hey, the Marlins didn’t exactly stock his bullpen with decent pitchers.
Well, let no man say that Jeff Loria doesn’t listen to the critics! He — or his subordinates — signed a reliever today: Armando Benitez. Who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 when he put up a 5.68 ERA for the Blue Jays in eight games before being released. He kicked around the Astros’ organization a bit last year but was released by them too. For all we know he’s been hustling pool or teaching gardening classes or something since then.
Why sign Benitez? Best explanation I can come up with is that maybe someone told Loria that it was 2004 or something and he expects to be getting back the guy who saved 47 games? Secondary explanation: maybe he’s secretly trying sabotage games in order to trigger a clause in the stadium lease that would allow him to move to Cleveland!
Either way, Benitez will go to New Orleans, physical willing, to pitch for the AAA club. Don’t be surprised to see him in Miami soon, though, because these games don’t lose themselves.
With Jeff, all things are possible.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.