The Indians are interested in Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit, according to Jon Heyman, who says the Tigers and Pirates are also checking in on the possibility of acquiring the 36-year-old righty.
Benoit is having an excellent season, with a 1.99 ERA in 40.2 innings. He's got 47 strikeouts compared to only 11 walks, and he's given up just 3 home runs. Those numbers are right in line with what he did for Detroit in 2013, so while the pitchers' haven that is Petco Field is likely helping, it's not as though he's some sort of mirage. He would certainly be an upgrade for any MLB bullpen, including the Tribe's.
Still, does acquiring him really make much sense for the Indians?
San Diego recently moved closer Huston Street for a pretty nice return, but wouldn't be looking for as much in exchange for their setup man. It would still take at least a second-tier prospect though. Not Francisco Lindor or Clint Frazier, but probably someone from the top ten in the Tribe farm system. Benoit is signed for 2015, with a team option for 2016, so he wouldn't just be a rental, but he's due $8 million for each of those seasons (or a $1.5 million buyout for 2016), which is a lot of money for the Indians to spend on a relief pitcher.
I'm generally against giving paying that kind of money to a reliever, even though I think he'd be a great 8th-inning guy for the Tribe as they fight for a playoff spot. Add on a decent prospect, and I'd rather this not happen.