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.
Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.
The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.
Red Sox third base prospect Rafael Devers notched his first major league hit in style on Wednesday afternoon against the Mariners. The 20-year-old smashed a solo home run to straightaway center field, padding his team’s lead to 2-0 in the third inning.
Per MLB’s Stat of the Day Twitter account, Devers is currently the youngest player in baseball at 20 years and 275 days. He went 0-for-4 with a pair of walks and a run scored in Tuesday’s 13-inning loss to the Mariners.