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Report: Joaquin Benoit Close to a Deal with the Tigers

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From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Tigers are nearing a multiyear deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  He says the deal could potentially be as long as three years.

If a team is willing to offer Benoit three years, then you can count the Rays out. Considering Benoit's injury history and up-and-down career, that's a long contract to give him based on one outstanding season. The man has only thrown a little over 100 innings in the majors since 2007, so as good as his 2010 season was, the Rays are making the right decision to not give him so many guaranteed years. If this report is true, good luck and godspeed Benoit.

And so, it feels like the off-season has officially begun: the Rays have now lost their first player. Since Benoit was a Type-B free agent, we'll receive a compensation draft pick for him - a sandwich pick between the first and second round of the draft.

If you're worried about next year's bullpen, remember how we signed Benoit last off-season. He was picked up off the trash-heap for pennies to the dollar, signed to a minor-league contract toward the end of the off-season when no other team had shown interest. The Rays have become exceptionally good at finding bullpen talent for cheap, so hope is not lost.

Update: From Marc Topkin, "Benoit money, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN: 3 years, $16.5-million. Thats's $5.5-million a year. Obvious why he left Rays."