Dodgers “trying hard” to get Joaquin Benoit from Padres

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Because the Dodgers can apparently never have too many current and former closers in the bullpen, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they’re “trying hard” to acquire Joaquin Benoit from the Padres.

Yesterday reports had Benoit being pursued by multiple teams, including the Dodgers, so it sounds like they’ve decided to focus in on the 37-year-old right-hander.

Benoit took over as San Diego’s closer following the Huston Street trade and has a 1.88 ERA in 43 innings along with a 51/13 K/BB ratio. Last season he saved 24 games for the Tigers with a 2.01 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio in 67 innings and Benoit has been an elite reliever for five straight seasons.

He’s also owed $8 million next season with an $8 million option or $1.5 million buyout for 2016 as part of a deal signed this winter, so it’s hard to imagine the Padres getting a ton in return for a 37-year-old reliever beyond the salary relief.

 

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.