The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to acquire help for their bullpen before the trade deadline and are pushing to complete a deal to obtain Joaquin Benoit from the San Diego Padres, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post.
Benoit has a 1.88 ERA and 0.837 WHIP in 42 appearances for San Diego on the season. The veteran has plenty of experience at the back of a team’s bullpen, though there surprisingly hasn’t been a quickly developing market for him.
The team’s interest was first reported yesterday, though at the time it was reported that the Padres were hesitant to move him within the division. While that desire is understandable in normal circumstances, one aspect of it did come across as unusual. The Padres aren’t viewed as a likely contender next season. Making one of their division rivals stronger during a stretch where the Padres may not compete shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrant. Additionally, San Diego would be obtaining prospects from the Dodgers in such a deal which could shift the balance in time when the team is ready to make a run again.
Benoit is owed roughly $2 Million over the remainder of this season and is due $8 Million next year. It would be in the Padres’ best interest to move him now, when they can, as he’ll be tougher to trade this offseason when teams aren’t looking to make a move with the upcoming pennant race in mind.