Another odd early-offseason deal is official.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit passed his physical on Thursday and officially signed a new three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Tigers.
Benoit registered a fantastic 1.34 ERA and 0.68 WHIP in 63 relief appearances for the American League East champion Rays this year, striking out 75 batters and walking only 11 in 60.1 innings. But relievers are very year-to-year in performance and Benoit doesn’t exactly have the most consistent track record of success.
In 2007 with the Rangers he posted a 2.85 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 82 innings. One year later, he finished with a 5.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over 45 frames. It seems likely that he will fall flat in the very same way up in Detroit.
Benoit will serve as a setup man for the Tigers behind Jose Valverde, another overpaid reliever.
On Sunday, Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez hit a walk-off home run against the Twins. He was very fired up about his accomplishment and celebrated:
The Twins have already gotten upset with a player for bunting while Jose Berrios worked on a one-hit shutout. No one on the Twins said anything about Gomez’s antics, but even if they had, Gomez wouldn’t have felt any need to apologize, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Gomez said, “It’s something I know a lot of people are talking good about this, that baseball needs more of that. And some people say it’s not good. If enjoying and having fun in baseball is bad, I’m guilty.”
He added, “I was not trying to disrespect anybody. I was not looking to the other side, not looking at the ball. I was looking at my guys.”
Gomez also said that baseball is “getting a little boring.” His advice? “Enjoy it. Have fun. It’s competition.”
Can’t argue with that.