Joaquin Benoit Joins Phillies on One-Year Deal

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 29: Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 29, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Toronto won the game 5-1. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Phillies have lately been focusing on improving through their youth, but every team needs some older players to help guide the youngsters. On Monday, the Phillies inked veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit to a one-year deal, reportedly worth $7.5 million. That is exactly what he earned last season, as well.

Joaquin Benoit Joins Phillies on One-Year Deal

Over the course of 15 seasons of MLB service, Benoit has seen time with the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays. The 39-year-old owns a career 3.79 ERA, with 1,012 strikeouts, 51 saves, and a 1.23 WHIP. The best year of his career came back in 2010, his only year with the Rays. That season, Benoit tallied 75 strikeouts against a career-low 11 walks, with a 1.34 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP.

Long known as a hard thrower who can rack up the punchouts, Benoit’s issue over the first half of his career was his lack of control. Prior to his great season in Tampa Bay, he recorded six 30+ walk seasons, and issued more than 50 free passes in two of those seasons. However, since the beginning of 2010, Benoit has quietly been one of the better, and more reliable, relievers in the game. In that time period, he owns a sparkling 2.40 ERA and finished a season with an ERA above 3.00 just once.

In the first half of 2016, which he spent with the Mariners, it looked like he might buck that trend. In 26 games, he allowed 14 runs and 15 walks, making for ugly 5.18 ERA and 1.44 WHIP figures. However, after being traded to the Blue Jays, he turned his season around. Across 23.2 innings with Toronto, he allowed just a single run and nine walks, while striking out 24 opponents. If he can carry his strong second half over into 2017, the Phillies will be more than happy with their investment.

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