As the Major League Baseball July 31 trade deadline approaches, contenders scramble to get the pieces together to make a strong run, while teams that are struggling try to get good deals to rebuild around. Currently the Detroit Tigers are 48-37 in the AL Central, 3.5 games in front of the surging Kansas City Royals. While the San Diego Padres are 40-49, and have done some major retooling in the front office.
According to Fox Sports Jon Morosi, the Tigers are very interested in getting a player back from the Padres, that they may should have never let go in the first place.
Joaquin Benoit, 36, one of San Diego's few bright spots this year, pitched for the Tigers from 2011-13 before being traded to the west coast team. He served Detroit mostly as a middle reliever, building 24 saves as the team's closer for most of the 2013 season. He posted a 2.01 ERA that year.
The Tigers signed Joe Nathan for 2 years at the end of 2013, and that left no space on the roster to re-sign Benoit, who was dealt to the Padres on a 2-year, $15.5-million deal.
As the setup man to Huston Street, another reliever the Tigers have been linked to this season as Detroit's bullpen suffers, Benoit has posted a 1.23 ERA in 36.2. innings with 41 strikeouts.
The Tigers could definitely use the extra help, especially because of Nathan's struggles so far. Despite 17 saves, Nathan's ERA is at 5.97, and he's already blown five saves this year.
Since May 11, Benoit has thrown in 18 games for the Padres, only giving up 10 hits and no runs in 18 innings.
According to CBS Sports, the Tigers are not the only team interested in Benoit; The Angels, Mariners, Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays and Marlins need help, and have interest in the right-handed reliever.