First, was a trade for Pat Neshek, followed by claiming lefty David Rollins off waivers. Now, the Phillies have signed veteran pitcher Joaquin Benoit to a one-year, $7.5-million deal, bringing the 39-year old to Philadelphia for what may be the final season of his career.
Early in the 2016 season, it looked like Benoit was done when he struggled horribly with Seattle. In late July, the Mariners shipped him to Toronto for reliever Drew Storen and cash and Benoit suddenly looked like a new man. In 25 relief appearances with the playoff bound Blue Jays, Benoit went 2-0 and posted a tiny 0.38 ERA, striking out 24 batters in 23 2/3 innings of work.
<a href="http://www.scout.com/mlb/phillies/story/1729482-pbi-annual-members-get-s..."> Over his career, Benoit has struck out just under one batter per inning, striking out 8.9 batters per nine innings (1,012 Ks in 1,018 1/3 IP). After being signed by the Texas Rangers in 1996 as an amateur free agent, Benoit made his major league debut as a starter for the Rangers in 2001, going five innings and giving up six earned runs on eight hits and three walks. The August 8th debut was the only game Benoit pitched for Texas that season, but he did return the following season to make 13 starts and four relief appearances. The Rangers moved Benoit to the bullpen full-time in 2006 and he hasn't made a major league start since then.
The Phillies bullpen woes were a major concern last season and GM Matt Klentak has made rebuilding the pen a priority for the offseason. With Neshek and Rollins now on the roster and Benoit added to the back of the bullpen, the Phillies have taken some pretty quick strides toward the rebuild of relievers.
To make room for Benoit on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated Michael Mariot for assignment. Mariot, 28, split his time between the Phillies and Triple-A Lehigh Valley and finished the season with a 5.82 ERA in the majors. In 44 career relief appearances, Mariot has a 5.98 ERA in the majors. In 26 appearances with the IronPigs, Mariot had a 2.23 ERA and has a career 3.38 ERA in the minors.