Padres and Indians both in hot pursuit of Joaquin Benoit


Both the Padres and the Indians have offered two-year deals and at least $14 million in total to free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Passan’s source close to the Padres suggests the team’s deal could also include a third-year option.

Should Benoit reach such an agreement with either club, he would become the ninth reliever to earn a multi-year deal this off-season. The $14 million total is in the same neighborhood of the deals signed by Joe Nathan, Boone Logan, Joe Smith, and Javier Lopez. While the Padres and Indians have been the most aggressive in pursuit of Benoit, the Cubs, Mariners, and Yankees also showed interest.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.