First off, let me say that the Giants needed a premier relief pitcher, and Benitez fits the bill. On that note, it’s a terrific signing. It’s hard to dispute the results put up by Benitez throughout his career (826 strikeouts in 654 innings), even given his oft-mentioned propensity for giving up dramatic home runs (of which he’s given up a fairly impressive 73 home runs in that 654 innings. Yikes!).
On a cynical note, it again seems that Sabean has outbid only himself, offering a three-year deal worth approximately twice what the pitcher was looking at from the team he pitched for last season, a one-year deal with an option for a second worth around $11 million. Why lock him in? Well, Benitez is 32-years old, essentially in his prime, he just had his best season ever, so Sabean can point to his need to stabilize a bullpen that could hardly have gone through a tougher season in ’04.
I will ponder this on the Tree of Woe, and have more to say about it later.