Padres and Indians both in hot pursuit of Joaquin Benoit

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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.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.