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Padres sign Benoit through 2015, DFA Portillo 

Ian Banner

The Padres announced Saturday afternoon that the team has officially signed right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit through 2015 with an option for 2016. With the announcement of Benoit’s signing, the team needed to make room on the team’s 40-man roster and as such pitcher Adys Portillo has been designated for assignment. Portillo has been a part of the Padres organization since being drafted in 2009.

Benoit, who was signed as an amateur free agent by the Texas Rangers back in 1996, is a 12 year veteran with a 44-35 record and career 4.11 ERA in 541 games. Benoit spread his tenure across the American League, spending time with the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and most recently the Detroit Tigers. Benoit was signed to stay with the Padres through 2015 with an option for 2016.

Last season in Detroit, Benoit earned 24 saves out of 26 opportunities with a 2.01 ERA and 73 strikeouts. Benoit’s resume with the Rays and Tigers have given Benoit postseason experience, where he appeared in 20 games in the last 4 postseasons with a 1-0 record and 2.82 ERA.

Benoit’s postseason experience is something that Byrnes and the Padres most certainly welcome.  “Joaquin has proven to be one of the top late-game relievers in baseball,” said Byrnes. “We are excited to have him on our staff.” Additionally, since 2010, Benoit has posted a 2.53 ERA which is the fourth-best in baseball for relievers.

Portillo went 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA over 9.1 innings pitched last season with the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps. Portillo was signed as a non-drafted free agent back in 2008, and over five seasons in the minors Portillo posted a 14-38 record with a 4.86 ERA in 80 games. With the signing of Benoit and DFA of Portillo, the Padres have a full 40-man roster.

Despite the recent transactions, Byrnes maintains that he is “still in the market” seeking new players. With the new year looming around the corner and Spring Training only 3 months away, the upcoming season for the Padres should prove to be interesting with all the new tools that the team has picked up.

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About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!