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.
When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.
This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.
Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.