The Seattle Mariners announced the acquisition of right-handed relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit from the San Diego Padres, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported.
In return for Benoit, the Padres recieved two minor leaguers: right-hander Enyel De Los Santos and infielder Nelson Ward.
The Mariners have already proven quite busy during this Hot Stove season, acquiring the likes of Nathan Karns in a blockbuster with Tampa Bay, re-signing Franklin Gutierrez, and closing in on signing catcher Chris Iannetta.
Under the new leadership in the front office, headed by new GM Jerry Dipoto, Seattle is obviously going in a completely different direction this offseason than it had in years past. The Mariners are being more aggressive and are making more moves early.
Benoit is going to be a major upgrade in Seattle. Collectively, the Mariners' bullpen posted a 2.5 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement last season, good for 20th in the Majors. Their 4.58 ERA as a group was second-highest.
Seattle's bullpen lacked depth. They had a couple solid arms here and there, but were forced to release their closer, Fernando Rodney, after poor play. Benoit will provide the depth that Seattle desperately needs going into 2016.
Benoit has been a solid relief pitcher throughout his career, but had a really nice year in 2015. He went 6-5 with a 2.34 ERA in 65 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. He struck out 63, but also walked 23, leading his FIP to register at 3.75.
The 38-year-old Benoit is signed through next season and will earn $8 million in what is the last of a three-year, $22 million contract he signed with San Diego during the 2013-2014 offseason.