Joaquin Benoit “available for trade right now”

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

San Diego announced Tuesday that it had exercised a $7.5 million club option on Joaquin Benoit, but it doesn’t sound like the veteran reliever is going to open the 2016 season in a Padres uniform.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Benoit “is available for trade right now.”

The 38-year-old posted his worst K/9 since 2008 this past season for Friars and he walked 23 batters in 65 1/3 innings, but he still managed a 2.34 ERA and 0.90 WHIP while securing 36 holds.

With so many contenders (and non-contenders) seeking relief help this offseason, there could be a trade market out there for a guy like Benoit. There has also been some chatter about the Padres moving high-priced closer Craig Kimbrel this winter.