Joaquin Benoit
Joaquin Benoit
43-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Joaquin Benoit in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Nationals in February of 2018.
Still not back to pitching
PWashington Nationals  
Forearm
September 30, 2018
Benoit (forearm) never returned to full pitching in 2018, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Benoit strained his right forearm back in spring training, and according to Zuckerman, he also picked up a shoulder injury along the way. Either way, the veteran was never able to ramp up his throwing and even declined surgery to fix the issues due to his age (41). This rough development and his middling performance in 2017 suggest he'll have a tough time finding work ahead of the 2019 season.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Joaquin Benoit
Mound Musings: Trade Deadline Repercussions
August 3, 2017
Brad Johnson examines some of the more significant pitching trades, like A’s starter Sonny Gray, who goes to the New York in a move that could make the Yankees the AL East favorite.
Collette Calls: Bullpen Watch at the Break
July 11, 2017
Jason Collette reviews each team's bullpen and looks at who might move as we enter the second half with the trade deadline approaching.
Oak's Corner: Hidden Gems
June 23, 2017
Scott Jenstad notes that David Peralta’s great start to the season has gone under the radar due to a couple of other stellar starts by fellow Diamondbacks’ teammates.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
June 4, 2017
Michael Rusignola scours the waiver wire for this week's free agents to consider, as Robbie Ray looks like a breakout candidate for the Diamondbacks this year.
The Wheelhouse: Closer Watch
May 18, 2017
As ninth-inning roles turn over due to poor performance and injuries, Derek VanRiper shares his updated closer rankings.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2003
After he regressed in 2017, 2018 proved to be even worse for Benoit for an entirely different reason. The veteran reliever signed a one-year deal with the Nationals prior to the season, but immediately went on the shelf due to a forearm strain. He then suffered a shoulder injury during his rehab which ultimately kept him from resuming a throwing program at all during the season. Between the lost season in 2018 and his middling 2017 campaign, Benoit may have a tough time finding a new home in free agency this winter. Even if he does, it's unlikely that the 41-year-old will get back to his previous form.
Benoit's performance took a step back in 2017, a natural outcome for a 40-year-old pitcher. He posted a 4.65 ERA, his worst number since 2008, and the underlying numbers back up that mediocre result. His strikeout rate of 21.6 percent was exactly league average, while his 10.3 percent walk rate and 33.3 percent groundball rate were both worse than average. If the veteran wants to return for another season, he probably can, as he still seems to have enough left in the tank to be a viable major-league option. However, he's unlikely to be anything other than a middle reliever. At his age, there is always the chance that his performance falls off a cliff.
After posting an unsightly 5.18 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 26 appearances with Seattle, Benoit was traded to Toronto in late July. He unexpectedly dominated out of the Jays' bullpen, managing a stellar 0.38 ERA with 24 strikeouts over 25 appearances. However, the 38-year-old tore his calf while running in from the bullpen to join a benches-clearing brawl in late September, and that injury forced him to miss the postseason. Overall, Benoit posted a career-worst 4.5 BB/9, his worst FIP (3.94) in four seasons and his highest WHIP (1.27) since 2008. Benoit's mid-90s fastball will put him in the mix for to close for the Phillies after he signed with Philadelphia in the offseason, although Hector Neris would seem like the better bet to lead the team in saves.
The veteran reliever came into spring training as the odds-on favorite to win the closer role in San Diego, but a last-minute trade on the eve of Opening Day brought star closer Craig Kimbrel to town. Benoit flourished in a setup role, turning in his second consecutive season with a WHIP under 1.00 (0.90). His K/9 dipped from 10.6 in 2014 to 8.7 in 2015, but there wasn't much of a dropoff in his fastball velocity as he still averaged over 94 mph on his heater. Benoit was dealt to Seattle in November in exchange for prospects, which could result in him eventually claiming closer duties in a pitcher-friendly park, but GM Jerry Dipoto has said publicly that free agent acquisition Steve Cishek will open the year in the ninth-inning role. With Cishek coming off a shaky season and Benoit showing no signs of slowing down, it may be wise to invest in Benoit with a late-round pick or $1 flier in deeper mixed leagues.
The Padres inked the then 36-year-old Benoit to a two-year, $15.5 million contract in December of 2013, seemingly anointing him the closer-in-waiting in case injury struck Huston Street for a fifth season in a row. However, Street proceeded to reel off save after save, all the while sidestepping the disabled list and containing Benoit as merely a setup man. Following the sudden post All-Star break trade of Street to the Angels, Benoit finally nabbed closing duties, which he held onto for just more than a month before a sore right shoulder induced a three-week absence beginning Aug. 31. In his stead, Kevin Quackenbush fared well - four saves in as many opportunities, 1.80 ERA, and 13 strikeouts in 10 frames - but Benoit was on point throughout the campaign, recording 11 saves with a 4-2 record, 1.49 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 10.6 K/9 across 54.1 innings. Consequently, Benoit will enter spring training as the incumbent closer, with Quackenbush breathing down the veteran’s neck in case he falters.
Benoit easily put together his best season as a fantasy option in 2013, and his overall effectiveness, regardless of role, was arguably as good as his breakout with the Rays in 2010. The 36-year-old reliever finished the season 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 73:22 K:BB ratio, but it was his 24 saves that pushed his fantasy value to the next level. Despite his age, Benoit has shown no signs of rust with his pitches. His fastball hovers in the low-to-mid 90s range, but the pitch is more effective than many fastballs with similar velocity due to its natural sinking action. He also sports one of the most effective changeups in the league, all while possessing pinpoint command. After signing a two-year deal with the Padres in December, it's uncertain if he'll immediately replace Huston Street as the team's closer or merely serve as his top setup man.
The 2012 campaign was tale of two halves for Benoit, as he was his normal dominant self in the first half of the season (2.25 ERA, .215 BAA, four homers allowed) but struggled mightily after the All-Star break (5.52 ERA, .243 BAA, 10 homers allowed). His fastball was not nearly as effective as in years past, but there was no drop in velocity. Meanwhile, his changeup remained a quality out pitch. Any struggles from last season were more about location, which is a good explanation for the increase in long balls. Despite the up-and-down campaign, Benoit still managed to be a solid setup man, finishing 5-3 with 30 holds and an 84:22 K:BB ratio in 71 innings. The Tigers opted not to bring back Jose Valverde this offseason, which could open the door for Benoit to handle closing duties, but odds are he remains in the setup role he's held the past two seasons.
After a rough April and May (1-3, 5.57 ERA), Benoit bounced back to the form he showed in 2010 that made him one of the more dominant setup men in the majors. Even with the early-season hiccup, Benoit still managed to finish the season with respectable stats, going 4-3 with a 2.95 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a 63:17 K:BB ratio. The 34-year-old reliever also racked up 29 holds and managed to vulture two saves. The Tigers will continue to roll with Jose Valverde as their closer in 2012, but Benoit would be next in line for save chances if the opportunity arose. His devastating change-up and pinpoint control should once again make him one of the better eighth-inning pitchers in the majors this season. Benoit is a great option to target in formats that reward holds or leagues deep enough to value players who will vulture a couple of saves.
Benoit was a great speculative gamble by the Rays, who signed him to a minor-league contract after the pitcher passed a physical showing no ill effects from rotator cuff surgery in 2009. After a brief stint with Triple-A Durham to start the season, Benoit went on to be arguably the best setup man in the league. His 1.34 ERA and 0.680 WHIP ranked first among relievers in the American League with at least 60 innings. With the Rays in cost-cutting mode, Benoit parlayed his spectacular season into a three-year, $16.5 million contract with the Tigers. He'll likely set up for Jose Valverde and should deliver excellent peripheral numbers in that role.
It's been two years now since Benoit was fully healthy, as a torn rotator cuff put an early end to his 2009 season when he went under the knife in January. He's a free agent after Texas declined to offer him arbitration. His past success as a reliever merits some attention if he shows up to spring healthy and showing good velocity, but full recovery from a torn rotator cuff is far from guaranteed.
Benoit struggled with shoulder problems all season, failing to build on his solid 2007 season, and finds himself well behind Frank Francisco now in the pecking order out of the Texas bullpen. A healthy Benoit will be a reliable staff filler in 5x5 leagues, though he'll likely start the season behind Jamey Wright for set-up duties if Texas opts to keep Francisco in a closing role.
Benoit earned a two-year, $6 million contract with a nice season out of the Texas bullpen. He played second fiddle to C.J. Wilson following the trade of Eric Gagne, racking up just six saves against Wilson's 12, which will likely result in a set-up role. He's settled into a relief role now after spending much of his early career in the rotation, and has always shown the ability to rack up strikeouts so he should be a legit staff-filling option for those in deeper leagues going forward. He'll battle Wilson for the closer job this spring unless Texas brings in a veteran late in the offseason.
There's still a bit to like (85 Ks in 79.2 innings), but Benoit pitched almost exclusively in a mop-up role during the middle of the season, which underlines how little confidence Texas had in him. If he could shave off a walk or two per outing he'd have a chance as a nice arm out of the bullpen, but a change of scenery may be in order to see him fulfill his promise.
Benoit excelled in relief for Texas, while struggling during his nine starts, so his future is in the bullpen. He's one of those guys who could chip in 80 - 100 effective innings each year, but his home park makes him too much of a risk on a fantasy roster.
It was another frustrating season for Benoit as he shuttled back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, fighting a few nagging injuries along the way. A whopping 19 HR allowed in 103 IP hide some decent peripherals, so there's still some promise here. He's not been a favorite of Buck Showalter, and he can no longer be sent to the minors without clearing waivers, so Benoit's best bet may be to head elsewhere to get a fresh start. There's still a considerable amount of talent in that right arm.
Benoit is yet another live arm that hasn't yet developed for Texas. Minor elbow and shoulder woes shelved him for a few weeks this season, but continued control problems is what really haunted him. He gives up the longball too often (23 in 105 innings) to be a reliable mid-rotation starter. The K:9 rate shows some promise, and there's been some talk that he might be better suited coming out of the bullpen.
Benoit appeared in 17 games down the stretch for Texas (including 13 starts) and struggled with control. Wildness hasn't been an issue in the past, and he all but has a rotation spot waiting for him if he can avoid injury and have a decent spring. There are likely to be some growing pains along the way, though. He's out of options, and there's no way that Texas is going to expose him to waivers.
More Fantasy News
Transferred to 60-day DL
PWashington Nationals  
Forearm
May 12, 2018
Benoit was moved to the 60-day disabled list Saturday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Back to throwing Friday
PWashington Nationals  
Forearm
April 27, 2018
Benoit (forearm) began a throwing program Friday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports.
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Has yet to resume throwing
PWashington Nationals  
Forearm
April 12, 2018
Benoit remains sidelined with a strained forearm and has yet to resume a throwing program, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post reports.
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Placed on disabled list
PWashington Nationals  
Forearm
March 27, 2018
Benoit (forearm) was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports.
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Will open season on DL
PWashington Nationals  
Forearm
March 21, 2018
Benoit acknowledged Wednesday that he's dealing with a strained right forearm and will open the season on the disabled list, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports.
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