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Thursday, November 12, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: JOAQUIN BENOIT LIKELY THE FAVORITE FOR SAVES IN 2016 FOR SEATTLE

The Seattle Mariners made a move to possibly fill their close opening for 2016, as they acquired reliever Joaquin Benoit on Thursday for two prospects.  Benoit comes over to Seattle off another very good season in 2015, pitching to a 2.34 ERA and striking out 63 batters in 65.1 innings while setting up closer Craig Kimbrel.  Benoit of course was slated to be the closer for the Padres going into last season until the pulled up the deal for Kimbrel right before Opening Day.  Now 38, Benoit is aging like a fine wine and over the last three seasons his ERA has come in at the following dominant numbers:  2.01, 1.49, and 2.34.  The K rates during that span?  9.81, 10.60, and 8.68.  Clearly Benoit has the goods to get the job done in the ninth inning and he only has to beat out the up-and-down Tom Wilhelmsen and the much more potent Carson Smith.  Smith is actually a good threat to the closer role as he was very good himself in setup for the Mariners in 2015 but the experience of Benoit should win out there.  Benoit has always been on the verge of long runs as a closer before but never has gotten a decent chance due to trades, injuries, and other factors.  This time around he looks like the very good value play he was prior to last season before Kimbrel arrived to change the outlook.  Put Benoit in a prime spot in your closer rankings for 2016. 

 

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