Kris Benson Retires

Fifteen years after being the first overall pick in the 1996 draft, Kris Benson is calling it a career. The right-hander told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he has decided to formally retire.

"I’m done," said the 36-year-old right-hander. "I decided pretty much after this past season that I wasn’t going to pursue anything. I’ve been putting way too much into it and not getting enough out of it, as far as the rehab, working out, training, and then not getting the type of results I expect from myself."

"I wanted to make this decision now, rather than go into another season on another minor-league deal. I didn’t want to go through the head games of, ‘Am I going to make the team?’ I don’t mind the pressure. I just don’t want to fall into another situation like I had the last couple years, where I busted my tail getting back and then got hurt again shortly after I made the team."

Benson pitched for five different teams in his 12-year career, most recently for the Diamondbacks. He made just three starts for Arizona in 2010, throwing 14 innings with a 5.14 ERA. Benson spent the majority of his career with the Pirates, where he posted a 4.26 ERA in 782 innings across parts of six seasons. He retires with a 70-75 record and a 4.42 ERA in 1,243 2/3 innings.

Injuries hampered Benson throughout his career. He missed the 2001 season due to Tommy John surgery, and then missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons after having surgery to repair a damaged rotator cuff. All told, Benson hit the disabled list no fewer than eight times in his career, almost all with arm related ailments. says he earned more than $36MM in his career, the majority of which came from the three-year, $22.5MM contract he signed with the Mets before the 2005 season.

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