The deal, which will give the Nats some needed depth in the bullpen beyond a larger addition along the lines of Greg Holland, comes one day after manager Dave Martinez informed the press that Koda Glover’s winter workout regimen had inflamed his pitching shoulder.
Last season, split between the Pirates and Phillies, Benoit posted a 4.65 ERA, with a 4.07 ERA in Philadelphia for 44 games, and a 7.56 ERA in Pittsburgh over eight games. He was worth 0.2 fWAR in his worst full major-league season since 2008 with the Texas Rangers.
During the 2017 campaign, Benoit gave up seven home runs (including a walk-off to Bryce Harper last May), 26 earned runs, and 43 hits.
Forty years of age, the Dominican relies primarily on his four-seam fastball—typically sitting around 95 MPH—using his changeup and slider as secondary pitches. He began his career with the Rangers at age eighteen and has served as a setup man for the Tampa Bay Rays, and a closer for the Tigers, Padres, and Phillies at times.
He will likely slot into a mop-up role or early relief spot, based on the current makeup of the Nationals’ bullpen currently, which projects to have Sean Doolittle as its closer, Ryan Madson as its setup man, and Brandon Kintzler pitching the seventh inning.