Benoit thanks Rays
Before taking questions on a conference call Friday to officially announce his signing with the Tigers (for three years and $16.5-million), reliever Joaquin Benoit said he wanted to make a comment thanking his former team:
"I want to thank the Tampa Rays organization for everything they did for me last year. I think it was a great opportunity for me to come back in the game and show them that I was healthy. Now being part of the Tigers organizaton, it's a pleasure for me. I'll try to do the best I can to be the best I can be."
Also on the call, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said the bidding for Benoit was aggressive and they had to offer him a three-year deal.
“If we hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t have signed him,” Dombrowski said, adding that word at the GM meetings was that “a couple of other clubs” had made “very solid” three-year offers. “We had identified (Benoit) as someone at the top of our list for set-up men that we wanted to be aggressive with.”
The contract is the largest for a non-closer reliever since the White Sox gave Scott Linebrink $19-million over four years in November 2007.