MLB Rumors: Padres and the available bullpen arms

USA TODAY Sports

There are some high-profile relievers available this offseason such as Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, and Fernando Rodney. The Padres appear to be linked to Benoit, but what if they weren't?

As I wrote late last week, the San Diego Padres are interested in signing free-agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. In fact, the team is so interested, there are reportedly numbers attached to the potential deal already. It seems San Diego is willing to give Benoit two years for $14 million, and they will throw on an option year. Nothing is set in stone, but there have been no conflicting reports, no reports of the deal falling through. It may just be a matter of time before Benoit signs. But what if San Diego landed someone else?

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports sees the high-profile free-agent relievers pool shaking out like this:

Joaquin Benoit - San Diego Padres

Grant Balfour - Baltimore Orioles

John Axford - Cleveland Indians (if they don't land Benoit, because they were bidding against the Padres for him)*

Fernando Rodney - Seattle Mariners...maybe.

*Looks like the Indians signed Axford late last night. That's more indication that the Padres will land Benoit, but we'll just whittle down our list a bit.

Signing Benoit would certainly not be the worst move the Padres could make. After all, he has a proven track record. He's edging more toward the end of his career, though. Based on the GLB community response, it seems the verdict is still out on Benoit as a whole if the team were to sign him. So, let's play GM for a day.

Assuming San Diego could make a play for any of the relievers on the above list, who should they go after? For the sake of simplicity, let's assume each player is going to get a two-year deal with an option for a third. Of course, the money figures will be different, but hey, you're the GM, you can figure that out.

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