Benoit signs two-year deal

The Rangers have signed Joaquin Benoit to a two-year contract. The deal covers his last year of arbitration and one-year of free agency. More on the website.


Now let the guy try his hand at starting. The bullpen is a training ground. Give him some time as a starter. IF he fails then put him back in the pen. When he succeeds and this guy has some of the best stuff on the staff then you might have a guy who wins 14 to 17 games for you. Isn’t starting pitching the big issue here? Remember Rogers was successful as a reliever before he became a starter. How about Rogers again in Arlington?

I’m glad they extended him. I’d hoped for 3-4 years, but this is a good thing.

As far as his role, I don’t know why you’d take him out of the late innning situations. He has almost the same amount of innings as a starter as he does as a relier. In relief his ERA is under 3.50 while as a starter it’s over 6.

You know you’re talking about the Texas Rangers when one of their pitchers needs 6 years to develop. At last, Joaquin Benoit (Mr. Longest Save in History) has landed his first multiyear major league contract at the youthful age of 30.

He and CJ Wilson are arguably the two most efficient homegrown pitchers that the Rangers have on their current roster. Both are relievers who are capable of starting. Although my guess is that neither will be starting next year. They are our setup pitchers. Our Timlin/Okajima (not to be confused with Gagné/Okajima).

Why turn an efficient reliever into a average-at-best starter when it took us so long to do the converse? All these years trying to erase the damage inflicted by Buck Showalter and John Hart upon Benoit’s confidence cannot be stashed away out of frustration. He’s not as young as Papelbon or Chamberlain.

Personally, I don’t buy into Josh Lewin’s theory of Benoit’s taking less time between pitches being the reason for his success. Not after watching Rafael Betancourt.

Congratulations Joaquin Benoit! You’ve earned it.

I liked Thad Levine’s comments. You know, the ones talking about a player who grew up with the franchise and doing all that was asked of him. That the Rangers would want to keep a valuable part of the future and not lose him to free agency. It’s unfortunate that the team wasn’t able to say this with bigger stars who could have made a bigger impact.

I don’t mean to be overly negative here, but relievers are by nature streaky, and what was a strength can easily become a weakness. Look at Gagne and Cordero for very recent examples of this. Benoit is at a peak and is now signed for two years. I would suggest the time is right to trade him either now, or at the ASB after he has served as the closer for the first half.

You and I have disagreed over this before Briant, but I’m afraid I’ll say it again:

Yeah, we trade Benoit now or after the ASB, and then we have… um… nobody to take over in the 8th/9th inning! Unless you’re counting on Mr. “it’s only tendinitis” Otsuka recovering by then.

I know we could get a lot out of this guy if we traded him, but without Otsuka, our bullpen is looking kind of supsect for next year. Who do we have other than CJ Wilson and Benoit? Wes Littleton? You talk about a streaky releiver – it’s Littleton. And then there’s Frank Francsico: good fastball, no offspeed pitch, horrible control. I’m already concerned about how our ‘pen is gonna look next year, but if you trade Benoit, or put him in the rotation, our bullpen is gonna look worse than the Mets.

If the answers were easy, the Rangers wouldn’t be such a mess right now.

I hear your concern for the bullpen – it has been a recent strength. And, I don’t expect Otsuka to throw a pitch for the Rangers next season. However, I don’t think that losing Benoit and Otsuka is necessarily the end of a productive bullpen, especially if the team signs a couple of FA relievers as it appears they will do. (I like your reference to the Mets, since that’s where I think we should send Benoit) The bullpen will be fine, the #1 thing in my opinion that will determine the effectiveness of the bullpen in 2008 is how many innings the starting 5 in the rotation throw next season.

Francisco has a closer fastball IMO, we have seen his inconsistency, and he’s not near ready to close. I’m surprised he has been kept by the organization after that evening in Oakland. The fact that he is still here after that and the surgeries I think shows that the Rangers think a lot of him. I also think this can be Littleton’s step-up year, especially if he could have a more consistent role as a 7th inning guy, instead of 2 innings here, one batter there – a role where he didn’t do as well as his stuff says he can.

If RW gets his way, the Rangers will sign Gagne. I’d be fine with this if it were for no more than 2 years (a team option on the second would be better, but unlikely) – even if it costs a second round pick. Would you support bringing him back, lonestar?

It looks like the Rangers like your position better than mine though, and Benoit will be staying here.

Hey, the Rangers, and i mean us aren’t in any position to deal any pitchers. We have paid our dues with Benoit and now he has developed into a pitcher. It would be idiotic to get rid of him now. You never ever, never ever give up on young pitchers, put them in the minors if you have to, but don’t get rid of release or trade. I would take Danks for Alfred E. Newman right now. They are both young, but Danks is left handed, a commodity. Right Handers are a dime a dozen. Lefties aren’t. Another bad deal by Daniels on the above reasons alone. Our pitching is just starting to look better. DANIELS DONT YOU DARE DEAL ANY PITCHING FOR ANYTHING. I would take Chris Young and Gonzalez for Otsuka right now. Young and Danks as starters for us would be 2/5ths of our rotation and we would be better off.

Unless their names are Millwood and Padilla. You can say goodbye to those guys. Millwood to the Yankees, Red Sox or Indians. Padilla to the Red Sox, Yankees or Indians or anywhere that the fruit of the vine can be enjoyed. Hey Martha’s Vineyard, i think he would like it there. What do you think TR?

Hey, what happened with Wilson as the closer? Just a couple a months ago, i mentioned Wilson going to the starting rotation and was about crucified for bringing it up. No Wilson is the closer, how dare you think of such a thing. Now Benoit re-signs and you are the author of an article that basically says they have this guy in mind as a closer? Wasn’t the reason he couldn’t be a starter was because he couldn’t handle the pressure. Now he can be a closer? Give me a break. Who is the closer, who is the right fielder, the first baseman and the other 3 starting pitchers. I still think it is insane to depend on Padilla and Millwood. As Big Bill says, you are what you are. Both of those guys are 4’s of 5’s on a dependable major league staff. Deal Millwood back to the Indians and Padilla anywhere that will take him. I would rather watch Mendoza, Volquez, Hurley pitch at the major league level than either Padilla or Millwood. It is fools gold if we are counting on either one of them for anything much less than being the aces or leaders of a staff. Ridiculous. How do you like that skyranch?


No, I wouldn’t bring Gagne back, for love nor money. He pitched like a junior leaguer from the time he joined the Red Sox all the way through October. That’s not a guy going through a bad stetch, that’s a guy with something wrong. I still he has a physical problem that has been dogging him, and based on his history, I think it would be extremely unwise of us to sign him at all, much less to a 2 year deal. But the Rangers historically pull a lot of boneheaded moves come free agent time, so a Gagne signing would not suprise me in the least.

I do agree, the Rangers will probably sign a couple free agents for the bullpen this offseason, but hopefully they will be more of the Jeremy Affeldt or Octavio Dotel type, rather than the overpriced Mariano Rivera, or the injury-riddled Gagne.

Lastly, a side comment for dwidregod:

Dwid, I agree, everyone seems to have forgotten about CJ Wilson, but the last time I checked, we where still going into spring training next year with those two scheduled to duke it out over the closers role. The bottom line is both those guys will likely wind up as the 8th-9th inning combo, it’s just a matter of in what order.

I wish MLB would give all free-agents until the end of December 31 of each year to negotiate contracts. This would make for a very interesting off-season instead of things dragging on until possibly the start of spring training. I would also like all trades to be conducted during the winter meetings. I think this too would create more excitement. I still remember when Grieve, did what he did in 89 trading for Palmeiro and Franco and signing Mr. Ryan as a free-agent. That was the best winter meetings that this franchise has ever had.

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