Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/8/14
Joaquin Benoit was looking for closer money on the free agent market, which is a big reason why the Detroit Tigers didn't make an effort to re-sign him. The 36-year-old reliever found it with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, agreeing to terms on a two-year contract worth $15.5 million.  Benoit may have gotten better-than-closer money, depending on your viewpoint. He received more with his contract than Grant Balfour got from the Orioles ($15 million over two years). With that salary in hand, the question is whether or not Benoit will be the Padres' closer next season. Benoit pitched well in that role for Detroit, converting 24 of 26 save opportunities. Overall, he had a 2.01 ERA while striking out 73 batters in 67 innings.  However, San Diego already has Huston Street — who's six years younger, by the way — on its roster. This year, he compiled a 2.70 ERA, 46 strikeouts in 56.2 innings and 33 saves as the Padres' closer.  Two numbers could concern the Padres about Street. He posted a strikeout rate of 7.6 per nine innings, the lowest of his nine major league seasons and a drop from 10.8 Ks per nine last season. Additionally, he served up 12 home runs, the most of his career. Consider that Street pitches his home games at Petco Park, the most pitcher-friendly park in MLB, according to ESPN.com's park factors. The Padres' home ballpark was average in home runs allowed per game, however.  Those numbers could be more influential toward who gets the closer role than salary figures. Street is set to earn $7 million in 2014 with a club option for the same salary in 2015. Perhaps San Diego general manager Josh Byrnes just wanted to sign a top-flight setup man with an eye on the following season. Benoit could pitch an eighth-inning role next year and then take over as closer if the Padres don't pick up Street's option, which seems likely.  If that's the case, however, it's strange that Byrnes traded the already less expensive Luke Gregerson to the A's. Gregerson was likely to make nearly $3 million less than Benoit through arbitration, though he could become a free agent after next season. Maybe Byrnes simply feels Benoit is better than Gregerson. He could be right, as Benoit moves to the National League while pitching in a friendlier environment than Detroit's Comerica Park. Benoit was less of a flyball pitcher this past season with the Tigers, but over his career, he's allowed more flyballs than groundballs (which has resulted in him giving up big home runs in some seasons). Petco Park will be an easier place for him to pitch under those circumstances. This past season, Benoit had a 1.09 ERA on the road while allowing a .192 batting average and .512 OPS to opposing batters.  Yet isn't it a bit unusual for the setup reliever to make more than the closer in a MLB bullpen? Benoit isn't getting that much more, set to earn $750,000 more than Street next season. But it certainly seems curious, something that might be tipping the Padres' intentions. This could be worth keeping an eye on during spring training and throughout the season to come. Maybe Street's prorated salary will seem OK to any team looking for a closer at the July 31 trade deadline. 

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times


Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.