Armando Benitez Rumors

Minor Moves: Gathright, Dodgers, Phillips, Benitez

The latest minor moves from around MLB…

  • The Reds have signed Joey Gathright to a minor league deal according to the CBSSports.com transactions page. The 31-year-old outfielder was hitting .240/.348/.365 in an independent league. He appeared in seven games for the Red Sox last season.
  • The Dodgers announced that they have signed or are in the process of signing more than 20 Latin American players. The group includes at least 10 position players and 10 pitchers and reflects a new approach to the international market from the one adopted under the ownership of Frank McCourt. “With our renewed resources in that area and the upcoming first-year player draft next month, we look forward to adding many talented young players to the Dodger family,” GM Ned Colletti said.
  • The Blue Jays acquired catcher Paul Phillips from the Brewers for cash, according to Mike Vassallo of the Brewers (on Twitter). Phillips had been playing at Triple-A Nashville and owns a .269/.317/.369 batting line in 13 minor league seasons.
  • The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League signed former MLB closer Armando Benitez, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The 39-year-old has 289 career saves in 15 MLB seasons. He last appeared in the Major Leagues with the 2008 Blue Jays.

Marlins Release Armando Benitez

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that veteran reliever Armando Benitez was released by Florida's Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans.  Benitez was signed by the Marlins last month for his third go-around with the club and managed a 2.70 ERA in 6 2/3 relief innings for New Orleans, but his peripheral numbers (a 6.8 BB/9 ratio and a 1.65 WHIP) weren't impressive. 

Benitez, 37, hasn't pitched in the majors since appearing in eight games for Toronto in 2008.  His last outstanding season came, coincidentally, with Florida in 2004, when he racked up a league-best 47 saves and a miniscule 1.29 ERA.  Since that great campaign, however, Benitez has a 4.61 ERA in 125 major league innings.


Marlins To Sign Armando Benitez

The Marlins' search for relievers has led them back to Armando Benitez. They plan to sign the long-time closer and assign him to Triple A, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (via Twitter). Spencer notes that Benitez will likely be in uniform for the New Orleans Zephyrs tonight, assuming he passes his physical (Twitter link). It was apparent that the Marlins were looking for relief help, but this agreement is a definite surprise.

Benitez, who saved 47 games for the 2004 Marlins, last pitched in the majors with the Blue Jays in 2008. The Astros signed him last year, but he never appeared in a major league game for Houston. Benitez, now 37, ranks 23rd all-time with 289 career saves. He has closed for the Orioles, Mets, Giants and, of course, the Marlins.



Odds & Ends: Halladay, Pujols, Mateo, Benitez

Here's a few links to check out as Roy Halladay makes what might be his final start in Toronto as a member of the home team…

  • MLB.com's Jordan Bastian spoke to Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston about Halladay, and what the offseason might hold for him. "If you didn't [have a shot at the playoffs in '10], I think you would maybe think about ''Maybe it is time to move him.'" He also added "I can't make those decisions. They're going to do what's right for the club and certainly Doc's got a little bit of say-so."
  • Rob Neyer of ESPN suggests that Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt wait a year before signing Albert Pujols to an extension because Pujols' value will never be higher than it is right now. What to do you guys think, any chance Pujols actually increases his value next season?
  • Yoel Adames of ESPN Deportes has some quotes from Edgar Mercedes, agent for Wagner Mateo, about a possible lawsuit against the Cardinals. St. Louis voided Mateo's $3.1MM contract earlier this week after finding "pre-existing injuries and physical defects."
  • Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the "hottest rumor among baseball scouts is that Pat Gillick will be returning to Toronto to become president of the club, but not GM."
  • The Astros released Armando Benitez and the Braves released John Halama, according to this week's edition of minor league transactions, courtesy of Baseball America.

Astros Ink Armando Benitez

8:54pm: Astros GM Ed Wade said "We'll give Armando a chance to finish the season at Round Rock and then determine where we go from there," according to the AP. Round Rock's regular season ends on Sept. 7th, so if he pitches well we might see the Major League return of Big Game Benitez.

3:24pm: MLB.com's Alyson Footer confirms it is indeed a minor league deal. Benitez will head directly to Triple-A Round Rock.

3:02pm: According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, the Astros have signed 36-year-old reliever Armando Benitez.

It's safe to assume the agreement is a minor league deal.  Benitez hasn't appeared in the major leagues since 2008, when he allowed four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings out of the Blue Jays' bullpen.  For what it's worth, he has a 3.18 career ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 289 saves.


Odds And Ends: Crisp, Benitez, Webb

On this day in MLBTR history, the Padres hadn't decided whether to be buyers or sellers. A lot's changed since last year, but many teams face a similar dilemma now. Here are some links for the morning…


Odds & Ends: Robinson, Benitez, Lee

A few links for Thursday…

  • According to Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post, former Nationals manager Frank Robinson has been named Special Assistant to the Commisioner.  He'll basically work as an advisor to Bud Selig.
  • Milton Bradley had a 10-minute meeting with Cubs manager Lou Piniella on Thursday, presumably to discuss his on-field antics and clubhouse demeanor.  He was thrown out of a game and suspended last week.  He has also blown off the Chicago media a few times, and lazily ran out a grounder during Wednesday's game. 
  • Peter Gammons of ESPN said in a radio spot Thursday that he doesn't believe the Indians will end up trading Cliff Lee 
  • The Newark Bears of the Atlantic League have signed former major leaguer Armando Benitez.  He spent part of last year with the Blue Jays, but is best remembered for his time as a closer for the Mets, Marlins and Giants.

Odds And Ends: Benitez, David Wells, Delgado

And for my first trick: My very first Odds and Ends.

  • The Toronto Star’s aptly named Blue Jays blog reports the team placed Vernon Wells on the 15-day DL, and they expect him to be out six to eight weeks after fracturing his left wrist during Friday night’s game. The Jay’s also placed reliever Jeremy Accardo on the 15-day DL with a strained right forearm. As replacements, the Jays will call up infielder Joe Inglett and veteran hurler Armando Benitez. With Wells out, do the Jays re-enter the Barry Bonds speculation market?
  • David Wells in Pinstripes? No deal says Joe Girardi. Wells did look comfy during a recent appearance on the not-aptly-called Best Damn Sports Show Period.
  • Mets manager Willie Randolph had penciled slugger Carlos Delgado in the seventh spot before Friday’s game against the Reds (postponed due to rain), marking the lowest spot he’s been slotted at in 12 years. Delgado didn’t see it as a demotion, but still, in light of the recent talk about his release, it raises eyebrows. For the record, Delgado is 6-20 in the last six games, with two doubles, a home run, and four RBI.

When not being a bitter nostalgic journalist, Alejandro Leal writes for UmpBump.com


Blue Jays Sign Armando Benitez

According to the Toronto Star, the Blue Jays have signed reliever Armando Benitez to a minor league deal.  He’s apparently not in the closer picture (which makes sense, with B.J. Ryan and Jeremy Accardo good to go).

Benitez, 35, struck out 57 in 50.1 innings last year with the Giants and Marlins.  The problem was too many hits, home runs, and walks.  That resulted in an ERA of 5.36.  Benitez’s control has always been poor; he’s succeeded by being tough to hit.  The strong Toronto defense could help in that regard. 

By the way, Benitez’s agent called the White Sox before he signed, but they weren’t able to discuss the possibility.


Stark’s Latest: Teixeira, Dotel

Jayson Stark has updated his big ol’ rumor post over at ESPN.com.  Some highlights:

  • Stark believes Mark Teixeira to the Braves or Angels is "almost certainly going to happen."  The Angels’ willingness to offer Joe Saunders instead of Ervin Santana is seen as a big plus.  Meanwhile the Braves want the Rangers to tack C.J. Wilson onto their trade but Texas is resisting.  Stark’s update counteracts Will Carroll’s latest; Will recently wrote: "It’s looking more and more like Mark Teixeira is going to stay a Ranger."  You decide.
  • Toss a few more scenarios into the Octavio Dotel mix:  to the Red Sox for David Murphy, or to the Mariners for Wladimir Balentien.  Big difference there.
  • Stark calls Mark Loretta a "very big name to watch."  Hmmm, maybe this trade deadline is lamer than I realized.
  • OK, the market is now open on Houston’s relievers. 
  • The Marlins would be happy to trade Armando Benitez or Byung-Hyun Kim.  Both would need to shake off major control problems to be of any use.
  • Stark says to forget about trades of Daniel Cabrera, Joe Blanton, Richie Sexson, Livan Hernandez, Dontrelle Willis, Todd Helton, Aaron Rowand, and Noah Lowry.  C’mon now, that’s no fun.  Something tells me the rumors on some of this group won’t disappear, so it’s all good.