Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the Mariners have acquired right-handed relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit (wah-KEEN behn-WAH) from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Enyel De Los Santos and minor league infielder Nelson Ward.
"Joaquin is a proven late game presence who brings both stability and impact to the back end of our bullpen," Dipoto said. "We value his experience, track record of durability and consistently high end performance."
Benoit, 38, was 6-5 with 2 saves and a 2.34 ERA (17 ER, 65.1 IP) in 67 relief appearances for the San Diego Padres in 2015. He posted a WHIP (walks + hits / innings pitched) of 0.90 last season, following a 0.77 WHIP in 2014. Opposing hitters batted just .159 (36x226), and were held to a .242 on-base percentage while slugging just .305. Right-handers were just .144/.250/.221 (15-for-104), the lowest batting average against of any NL pitcher to have faced 100+ right-handed batters.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound right-hander is a veteran of 14 Major League seasons with Texas (2001-08), Tampa Bay (2010), Detroit (2011-13) and San Diego (2014-15). He has a combined record of 54-42 with 50 saves and a 3.84 ERA (414 ER, 970.1 IP). For his career, Benoit has limited opposing hitters to a .223 batting average against, including a .214 mark by left-handed hitters (.233 vs. RHH).
De Los Santos, 19, began his pro career by splitting last season between Rookie Peoria and Short-A Everett, going 6-0 with a 3.47 ERA (24 ER, 62.1 IP) in 13 starts. He combined to limit opponents to a .262 (61x233), while walking 18 and striking out 71. He went 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA (7 ER, 24.2 IP) in 5 starts with the AZL Mariners before being promoted to Everett on July 21 where he went 3-0 with a 4.06 ERA (17 ER, 37.2 IP) in 8 starts with the AquaSox. He averaged 10.0 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, including striking out a season-high 8 strikeouts in 4.1 innings on July 24 vs. Spokane.
Ward, 23, split the season between A Clinton and High-A Bakersfield, batting .278 (126x454) with 81 runs scored, 19 doubles, 13 triples, 9 home runs, 55 RBI, 4 HBP, 59 walks and 13 stolen bases in 122 games. He led all Mariners farmhands, while finishing T4th among all minor league players, with 13 triples. He appeared in 46 games with Clinton, batting .270 (44x163) with 27 runs scored, 7 doubles, 7 triples, 2 home runs, 16 RBI, 26 walks and 5 stolen bases before being promoted to Bakersfield where he hit .282 (82x291) with 54 runs scored, 12 doubles, 6 triples, 7 home runs, 39 RBI, 4 HBP, 33 walks and 8 stolen bases in 76 games.