Joaquin Benoit, perhaps the most dominant relief pitcher in the majors last season, agreed Wednesday to a $16.5 million, three-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, according to a source close to the negotiations.
Benoit, 33, will receive an annual salary of $5.5 million and has the opportunity to earn an additional $1 million in incentives each season, the source said.
As the Tampa Bay Rays' right-handed setup man for closer Rafael Soriano last season, Benoit posted a 1.34 ERA in 63 games, with 75 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings pitched. He allowed only 10 runs (nine earned) and 11 walks.
Benoit pitched in the Texas Rangers organization from 1996 until signing with the Rays as a free agent last season. He missed the 2009 season with a right shoulder injury.
Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.