Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hey, You Know, It's OK, Not Like They Need the Money for Anything Else.

While I was typing that title, the anchor on CSN just mentioned that Brad Abromaitis played pretty good for Notre Dame against Chicago State tonight.

Anyway, on to the crap. Steve Kornacki is probably the only human being on the planet who isn't laughing at the Detroit Tigers right now, other than Rafael Soriano, who probably just purchased a dozen yachts or something. He's here to tell us why Joaquin Benoit is worth $16.5M.

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers on Wednesday reached a three-year deal with super setup man Joaquin Benoit that could end up being as important a transaction as the club makes in what promises to be a busy offseason.


It’s just a shade over the $15 million for three years reliever Brandon Lyon got last year from the Houston Astros in leaving Detroit. Lyon widely was viewed as getting much more than he was worth but never has had a dominating season like Benoit did.

Oh, but Lyon was about 4 years younger, had a better track record, and didn't have rotator cuff surgery within the past two years.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said a case could be made that Benoit was the most valuable player on his very talented team.

Rays manager Joe Maddon once claimed that Jason Bartlett was the team MVP after OPSing .674. Let's hold off on putting much stock on managers making fluffy comments to compliment his own players, yeah?

The Tigers were set with Jose Valverde closing, but how would they get the game to him?

I don't know, the same way teams with an average bullpen get to their closer? Use one or two pretty decent pitchers?

Reliable reliever Phil Coke took care of plenty of eighth innings but was moved into the starting rotation. And once reliever Joel Zumaya was injured last season, the Tigers began their free fall to third place. He took care of seventh innings and might be able to again in 2011 if healthy. But who knows?

Perhaps, Ryan Perry or Daniel Schlereth will be ready for reliable late-inning work this season. Brad Thomas and Robbie Weinhardt could factor into important innings, too.

But now, there is less pressure on everybody with Benoit in the fold.

Fine, Benoit's 60 innings will help take the pressure off. There were cheaper options. It won't put a bat in RF or at DH (assuming Guillen is back at 2B). Just saying.

However, his signing is not without risk. This is not a pitcher who consistently has rattled off eye-popping numbers. He was 30-26 with a 4.47 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in eight seasons with the Texas Rangers before having one break-out year with Tampa Bay.

Uh oh Steve. That isn't good. There's a sample size to go with those numbers.

Benoit was pretty good in 2007, going 7-4 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. But he walked 35 in 45 innings for the Rangers in 2008 and hasn't had the control he displayed last year.

He had right rotator cuff surgery at the end of 2008, sat out all of 2009 and signed for $800,000 in 2010.

Good. Bad. Injured. Awesome. Middle Relievers. Mike MacDougal.

Benoit began the year with Triple-A Durham and ended it by retiring all 11 Rangers he faced in the playoffs and picking up one win.


His agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, also represented Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge and shortstop Jhonny Peralta in their negotiations to re-sign with the club.

Dombrowski must have these guys on his friends and family calling list.

Argument #57 why Joaquin Benoit was a good signing: His agents also represent a mediocre left side of an infield.

And that's it. Convinced? I sure am.


Chris W said...

To be fair, in 2009 Jason Bartlett was 2nd on the Rays in WAR according to B-R's way of calculating. He was 1.5 wins behind Longoria. It may not be the most genius thing Maddon ever said, but it's not nearly as stupid as calling Benoit the most valuable anything.

Chris W said...

Also, let me point out that you missed out on a most excellent opportunity to end this post with a vintage grift.

To wit, "Convinced? I sure am........NOT!"

pnoles said...

Re: Bartlett -- I was referring to 2008. He hit the ball significantly better in 2009.

Chris W said...

Ah. Brain fart on my part. I totally forgot that the Rays WS appearance was in 08 and not 09.

I know what I'm talking about.....NOT!

Elliot said...

This is all by design of Cliff Lee. If a mediocre middle reliever gets $16.5 million for three years, Lee should get at least $34 billion from the Yankees.

SOB in CA said...

Waiting for the FJM'ing of the Murray Chass column....

Chris W said...

I was going to do it today. Maybe tomorrow. I guess what I'll say is this:

You can't say that Steve Carlton proves Felix Hernandez could have won more in one breath and then, in the same breath, acknowledge that you're aware of the fact that Carlton got significantly more run support in his Cy Young season.

Adam said...

What Steve Kornacki calls a breakout year I call a fluke year.

What are the odds that Benoit is even on the Tigers roster at the end of 2013?

Chris W said...

What you call Rin Tin Tin, I call racist