With the San Diego Padres appearing to enter full-on ‘sell’ mode as baseball’s July 31 trade deadline nears, reliever Joaquin Benoit is the latest name to enter the rumor mill.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports the Indians, as well as the Tigers and Pirates, are "showing interest" in the Padres pitcher. He also mentions Rangers closer Joakin Soria as a potential target.
Heyman writes that the Indians "haven’t established themselves as a buyer" in the trade market "but could be leaning that way as they heat up." Cleveland just took three out of four games from Detroit, putting them 5 1/2 games out of first place in the American League Central, and remain right in the thick of the AL Wild Card race.
The Indians have not had an "official closer" since John Axford was removed from the role, however Cody Allen has become the de-facto ninth-inning guy, racking up 13 saves.
Allen, 25, has been effective in the role, not allowing a run since June 21. Heyman labeled a possible move by the Indians for Benoit (or Soria) as an attempt to "fortify a young bullpen."
The 36-year-old veteran Benoit is having an impressive 2014 campaign with a 1.99 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 40 innings of work. Prior to this season, he spent his entire career in the AL, most recently completing a three-season stint with Detroit. Benoit signed a two-year, $15.5 million deal with the Padres this past offseason.