Photo: AP Images
Baseball executives fear that the 3-year, $16.5M contract the Tigers bestowed upon oft-injured reliever Joaquin Benoit will drive the price of relievers to unprecedented heights, ESPN Buster Olney reports.According to Olney, the entire relief market was reset “like a beach house knocked off its pins by the tide.”
The 33-year-old Benoit had an excellent 2010 season, as he struck out 75 in 60.1 innings with a 1.34 ERA. But he entered the season with a 4.79 lifetime ERA, and didn’t pitch at all in an injury-plagued 2009.
His last full season, 2008, was atrocious: he posted a 5.00 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP.
As the first reliever signed, Benoit’s contract is the standard by which other free agents will weigh their offers. If a reliever feels he is more accomplished than Benoit – and many certainly will – they will demand contracts worth more than $16.5M, an already absurd sum for a middle-reliever.
The groundwork appears to be laid out for a middle-relief Bridesmaid contract bonanza. Here are some relievers who stand to cash in thanks to the Tigers’ liberal spending.
- Kerry Wood
- J.J. Putz
- Grant Balfour
- Scott Downs
- Frank Francisco
- Jon Rauch
- Jesse Crain
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.