Padres announce two-year, $15.5 million deal with Joaquin Benoit

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It was reported earlier this month that the Padres had agreed to a two-year contract with reliever Joaquin Benoit, but the deal is now official.

Benoit is guaranteed $15.5 million over the life of the contract. According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, the deal includes an $8 million vesting option for 2016 if he reaches 55 games finished in 2015.

Benoit, 36, emerged as the closer for the Tigers this past season while posting a 2.01 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio over 67 innings. However, he’ll help set up for Huston Street in San Diego.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”