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Report: Twins could have eyes on Padres' reliever Joaquin Benoit

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The Minnesota Twins could be looking to upgrade their bullpen as the season winds from the upcoming All-Star break to the trade deadline, which arrives at the end of July.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes the Twins' main concern is their bullpen, and he believes the team has their eyes on San Diego reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Benoit, 37, is a hard-throwing right-handed reliever in his second season in San Diego. He has made 37 appearances this season and has a solid 2.25 ERA, while averaging 8.25 strikeouts per 9 innings.

As 1500 ESPN's Derek Wetmore reports, the Twins' biggest need might be for a left-handed reliever, but Benoit would also be an upgrade capable of getting outs late in a ball game.

According to Wetmore, Benoit is making $8 million this year as part of a two-year contract, with a club option for 2016. He can be kept at the same price for next season, or can be bought out for $1.5 million.

The Twins pitching staff has been much improved this season over a year ago. ESPN notes that in 2014 the pitching staff had an earned run average of 4.80, which in 2015 has dipped to 4.06.

While that improvement has been solid, most of it has been because of better outings from the Twins starters. The Pioneer Press reports Twins starters have produced 22 quality starts in their last 30 games (73.3 percent). But they have gone just 12-10 in those games, largely because of the shakiness of the bullpen.

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