The San Diego Padres are very much interested in relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit. In fact, some believe they are the frontrunners to land the right-hander.
Sources indicate that the Padres and Cleveland Indians have both offered a two-year deal worth more than $14 million to Benoit. However, the sources also state that San Diego’s offer includes an option for a third year, which would give them the edge over any other team. Even though the Indians reportedly want to match the offer, there is another huge reason why Benoit would prefer to pitch for the Padres.
Petco Park in San Diego is about as friendly as a ballpark gets for pitchers. In 2013, its MLB Park Factor regarding runs was 0.831, according to ESPN Stats. On top of that, pitchers typically have a pretty easy time keeping balls inside the park. That’s a huge plus for Benoit, who has surrendered 19 home runs in 138 innings over the past two seasons.
In general, Benoit’s already impressive numbers will improve greatly in San Diego. There’s a possibility that might not mean a lot to someone who is 36 years old and looking at most likely signing his last contract in the big leagues. However, if his contract has incentives in it then it becomes a factor.
The only real reason he wouldn’t sign with the Padres is because it basically guarantees he won’t have a shot at a World Series the next couple of years. That could be a deciding factor considering he has never won a championship.