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Twins are targeting Joaquin Benoit

Minnesota is looking to upgrade their bullpen, and might target a San Diego reliever to help.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of a surprising season, and are 46-40, which currently places them 1.5 games ahead of Detroit for the second Wild Card spot. While not many picked them to be competitive in July, here we are, and the Twins are clearly buyers as the deadline approaches. They've been linked to the Milwaukee Brewers recently, and speculation pointed to Minnesota potentially wanting to trade for left-handed reliever, Neal Cotts.

Their bullpen ranks 23rd overall in reliever fWAR, and they could use an upgrade if the player in question is reasonably priced. Talks between the Twins and Brewers were described as being in the "preliminary" stages, but they're certainly something to keep an eye on. Another reliever that is on Terry Ryan's wish list seems to be San Diego's Joaquin Benoit.

"The Twins' primary concern is their bullpen, and they're doing their due diligence in exploring possible upgrades, sources say. Among their potential targets: The Padres' Benoit." - Ken Rosenthal

In 36 innings this season, Benoit has posted a K/9 of 8.25, as well as a fantastic ERA of 2.25. He's signed through the end of 2015, but has a team option worth $8 million for 2016, or a buyout for $1.5 million. His team option would automatically become guaranteed if Benoit finished 55 games this year, but that's not a factor at all considering that he's currently finished a grand total of seven games.

A rival executive was quoted as saying he expects the Padres "to sell as hard as they bought" during the 2014 offseason, which would seem to imply that Benoit will undoubtedly be available. Bullpen arms are the latest commodity in the baseball world, and with more than a few contending teams looking to add pieces for the later innings, it won't be easy for the Twins to acquire Benoit.