According to Jeff Passan, the Cubs are a likely destination for free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. Passan’s sources indicated that teams believe the Indians, Padres, Mariners, Cubs or Yankees could be the team that Benoit signs with this winter.
The Cubs are looking for a closer this off-season but Joaquin Benoit is looking for a multi-year contract following a solid season with the Tigers in which he ended the year as Detroit’s closer.
Benoit finished up the three-year contract with the Tigers that paid him $5.5 million per season with a 4-1 record in 66 appearances with a 2.01 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Benoit earned 24 saves and struck out 73 batters with 22 walks in 67 innings. Benoit put together his best season since his last free agent year in 2010.
The 36-year old veteran would likely be a better fit on a team that is not building for the future.
As for free agent relievers the Cubs could sign to try to flip in July. The Cubs have been connected to John Axford, Mitchell Boggs and Joba Chamberlain. Theo Epstein said on Wednesday the Cubs have contacted just about every free agent reliever on the market.