AL West Watch: Mariners Land Benoit

This post qualifies as an AL West watch on two different fronts: First off, it's a trade involving the Seattle Mariners, and secondly, it involves a former Rangers pitcher.

The Mariners on Thursday acquired Padres relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit, who you'll remember as a starting pitcher and reliever for the Rangers, and as the guy who was the last reliever to win Rangers Pitcher of the Year honors (2007) before Shawn Tolleson did it earlier this week.

The Mariners didn't give much up to get the veteran reliever, who put up some really good numbers for the Padres in 2015 — 2.34 ERA in 65 1/3 innings of work. The Mariners' bullpen, which looked to be a strength as 2015 opened quickly turned into one of the many liabilities for the preseason favorites to win the AL West.

Benoit last pitched for the Rangers in 2008 before missing all of 2009 and then pitching for Tampa Bay in 2010. In 2011, Benoit went to Detroit, where he pitched until 2014, when he joined the Padres. Since leaving Texas, he's had two seasons with ERAs in the 1s, three seasons in the 2s (including a 2.01) and one with a 3.68 mark.

He's old at age 38, but with relievers nowadays, that doesn't always matter. It'll be interesting to see how he does with Seattle back in the AL West after five years of pitching in pitcher-friendly parks (Detroit and San Diego).

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