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benoit not a pipe dream

according to the birdhouse, the cardinals have inquired about rangers relief pitcher joaquin benoit.

i like this guy, who (as i noted in a post 2+ weeks ago) has an outstanding record as a relief pitcher. the rangers, in their wisdom, keep trying to make him a starting pitcher, which policy makes benoit's stat line look terrible. but he might slide right into the al reyes role --- or even serve as the primary setup man (ie, the tavarez role).

birdhouse isn't calling the cards' interest serious, but at least they've asked the question --- encouraging. here's the report from birdhouse, which is offering free content this holiday weekend:

While the Cardinals have apparently inquired with Texas about the right-handed swingman, I don't know how strong the interest is on either side.

The 28-year-old Dominican Republic native is arbitration-eligible this offseason, but has exhausted his three years of minor league options. Benoit struggled with elbow, shoulder and biceps ailments this past season.

Since his first appearance with the Rangers back in 2001, Benoit never settled into a defined role, bouncing in and out of the rotation. He strikes out a lot of hitters, but also is prone to give up the base on balls and the home run, too.

In 2005, Benoit posted a career-best 3.72 ERA, striking out 78 and walking 38 in 87 innings. In a typical year for him, he had nine starts and 23 appearances out of the bullpen. Benoit's career ERA is 5.17.