The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-handed pitcher Joaquin Benoit and placed right-handed pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Benoit, 40, joins the Nationals after spending the 2017 season with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He began his 16th Major League season with the Phillies, where he struck out more than a batter per inning (43 SO/42.0 IP) while posting a 4.07 ERA in 44 games out of Philadelphia’s bullpen. He recorded 12 holds and converted two saves. He was acquired by Pittsburgh at the non-waiver trade deadline and appeared in eight games through the end of the season (0-2, 7.56 ERA).
Benoit joined the Phillies in 2017 on the heels of a strong 2016 campaign in which he went 3-1 with 18 holds, one save, and a 2.81 ERA in 51 appearances between the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays. In 25 games for the Blue Jays, he pitched to a 0.38 ERA (1 ER/23.2 IP), tied for the lowest ERA by any reliever from July 24 through the end of the season.
A native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Benoit enters 2018 having appeared in 764 games in 16 Major League seasons, posting a 58-49 record with a 3.83 ERA.
Ross, 24, is recovering from July 2017 “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery. He is 17-13 with a 3.95 ERA in 48 games (45 starts) across three Major League seasons.