Padres sign Benoit to bolster bullpen

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Padres sign Benoit to bolster bullpen

The San Diego Padres have agreed with former Detroit Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit on a $15.5 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending Benoit passing a physical. In his first season as Tigers closer, Benoit had 24 saves in 26 chances. But in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series, he allowed a tying grand slam by Boston’s David Ortiz that was a turning point in the series.

A starter early in his career, Benoit has been strictly a reliever since 2006 while with the Texas Rangers. He is 44-35 lifetime with a 4.11 ERA and 37 saves.

Benoit, who turns 37 on July 26, is expected to replace setup man Luke Gregerson, who was traded to Oakland for outfielder Seth Smith.

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