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Indians and Padres battling for Joaquin Benoit

Joaquin Benoit (photo: AP)

Joaquin Benoit joining the Indians? (photo: AP)

The Cleveland Indians and the San Diego Padres are both bidding for the services of former Detroit Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Benoit began his career as a starter for the Texas Rangers in 2001, but after four years of struggle, he was moved to the bullpen because his ERA was never below 5.31. He wasn’t much better as a reliever at first in 2006, but in 2007, things turned around quickly. He struck out 87 hitters, while walking only 28 in 82 total innings, coming in with a 2.85 ERA. The Rangers rewarded him with a two-year deal worth $6 million.

Unfortunately, things started to turn for the worse after that for the power righty. He struggled through much of the beginning of 2008, before finally heading to the DL in July for over a month. He wasn’t any better when he returned in August. He ended the season with a 5.00 ERA, and 35 walks, with 43 strikeouts in 45 innings.

Talk about a bad break. He missed the final year prior to free agency.

It did, fortunately, usher in a new era in his career.
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