ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -Relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit and the Texas Rangers agreed to a two-year contract Wednesday.
The right-hander would have been eligible for salary arbitration this winter and could have become a free agent after next season. Instead, he is signed through 2009.
Benoit was 7-4 with a 2.85 ERA and six saves in 70 appearances for the Rangers this year. He led Texas relievers in wins, strikeouts (87) and innings pitched (82). The starter-turned-reliever has a career record of 27-25 with a 4.78 ERA in 229 games, including 55 starts.
Benoit made his major league debut in 2001 as a starter and was primarily in the Rangers' rotation through 2004. He hasn't started a game since 2005, when 23 of his 32 appearances were out of the bullpen.

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