Tigers finalize three-year deal with Joaquin Benoit

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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.