Report: Phillies Closing in on Signing Reliever Joaquin Benoit
The Phillies are reportedly closing in on signing veteran closer Joaquin Benoit to add to the back-end of their bullpen, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
Benoit, 39, posted a 2.81 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 18 holds over 51 appearances (48 innings) in 2016. He made his first 26 appearances with Seattle, then 25 with Toronto after being traded from the Mariners to the Blue Jays. He struck out 52 batters and walked 24.
He was at his best after the deal to Toronto, posting a stellar 0.38 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 24/9 K/BB ratio across 23 2/3 innings. Making his MLB debut in 2001 with Texas, Benoit has played for six teams. Over his career, he had a 3.79 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, and has 55 career saves.
Bullpen help has been an offseason priority for Phillies general manager Matt Klentak. Philadelphia acquired reliever Pat Neshek from the Astros in exchange for a player to be named later and claimed lefty David Rollins off waivers from the Rangers.
If the Phillies are to add Benoit, look for him to compete for the closer role with incumbent Jeanmar Gomez or with Hector Neris and Neshek for the set-up role.
The winter meetings officially begin today.