Kris Benson Rumors

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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Odds & Ends: Matsui, Braves, Bumgarner, Benson

Sunday night linkage..

Odds & Ends: Hudson, Hechavarria, Benson, Teahen

Tuesday night linkage…

D’Backs, Kris Benson Agree To Minor League Deal

The Diamondbacks reached an agreement with pitcher Kris Benson on a minor league deal, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX SportsNick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Benson will receive $650K plus $100K of start-based incentives if he's in the big leagues.  He also drew interest from the Nationals this winter. 

Benson, 35, had rotator cuff surgery in March of '07.  He's tallied 163 pro innings since then, most of them unimpressive minor league frames in the Rangers and Phillies organizations.

Benson auditioned for the D'Backs recently, and his agent Gregg Clifton said he was sitting in the 88-89 range.  Benson worked at 90 mph with the Mets and Orioles in the two years prior to his injury.

Benson Threw For D’Backs

SUNDAY, 1:50pm: Gregg Clifton, the agent for Benson, says that his client is willing to accept a minor league deal, writes Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic.  Clifton hopes to speak with the Diamondbacks today.

FRIDAY, 10:31pm: The club will probably make a decision in the next 24 hours on what type of deal to offer Benson, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

2:43pm: Kris Benson threw for the D'Backs today, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes confirmed that Benson was in camp, but declined to say how hard he threw. Piecoro says Benson faced minor league hitters for five innings in a simulated game. Byrnes told's Steve Gilbert that the club will stay open-minded about adding pitching.

"Every club is always wanting to ensure pitching depth," Byrnes said. "It's an evaluation worth doing. We'll see how we proceed."

Benson was connected to the Nationals for much of the winter, but last we heard, he's no longer in touch with them. Benson's agent, Gregg Clifton, said in January that his client felt good and had thrown for two unnamed teams.

The 35-year-old right-hander pitched 22.1 innings for the Rangers last year, his first stint in the majors since 2006. His 4.4 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 contributed to his 8.46 ERA. The first overall pick of the 1996 draft, Benson had some solid seasons for the Pirates but ran into injuries, including elbow tendinitis last year.

Odds & Ends: Boone, Smoltz, Benson

Links for Tuesday…

Nationals Notes: Benson, Smoltz, Starting Pitcher

Some Nationals news from SIRIUS XM'S MLB Home Plate Channel and Bill Ladson of

  • In an interview with Rob Dibble and Steve Davis, Kris Benson said that he and the Nationals were "still talking."  There's been word of the Nats' interest in the 35-year-old as of late, though Benson says he's not in a rush to sign anywhere.
  • Ladson writes that Washington has not had any recent conversations with John Smoltz.  The Nationals are reportedly one of ten teams that have expressed interest in the 42-year-old.
  • On his blog, Ladson writes that the Nationals are trying hard to add another veteran starter after striking out on Chan Ho Park and Braden Looper.  It should be noted that the Nationals did not confirm extending offers to either pitcher.

Odds & Ends: Gonzalez, Benson, Giants, Mariners

A quick rundown of some of the day's items…

  • In an appearance on WEEI's Dale & Holley Show, ESPN's Keith Law said that the Red Sox are the clear front-runners if and when Adrian Gonzalez hits the trade market.  "I really think that Boston could top anybody if Adrian Gonzalez becomes available, and he will," Law said.  The transcript of Law's appearance is available here.
  • It looks like Washington might still be the only team interested in Kris Benson.  Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians have no interest in the right-hander.
  •'s Jayson Stark polled "20 baseball wise men" to get their take on the offseason moves.  The panel picked Seattle and Arizona as the most improved teams in their respective leagues, while Cleveland and the Dodgers were the least improved.  John Lackey was named the winter's best free agent signing, while Brandon Lyon's deal with Houston was considered the worst.
  • Giants infielder Freddy Sanchez underwent shoulder surgery on December 23, but the news of the procedure didn't come out until almost a month later.  Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News believes the club wanted to keep Sanchez's condition a secret in order to help them sign Juan Uribe to a more team-friendly contract.  Uribe signed a one-year, $3.25MM deal on January 5.
  •'s Jim Street answers some Mariner-related questions in a fan mailbag.  Some topics of note include the possibility that the M's could deal one of their surplus outfielders, and Chad Cordero could also be trade bait if he doesn't make the Seattle bullpen but otherwise appears recovered from shoulder surgery.
  • Matt Klaassen of Fangraphs thinks "Arizona overpaid a bit" in the arbitration settlement between the Diamondbacks and Edwin Jackson, but also notes that "there is reason to believe this deal is fair to both sides."
  • Miguel Olivo took less money to play in Colorado because he wanted to be on a contending team, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
  • "It's decision time" for teams to negotiate with players entering the last year of their contracts, says USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
  • Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros had their arbitration hearing today, and The Associated Press reports that a decision should be reached by tomorrow.  Rodriguez wants $7MM, while Houston has countered with an offer of $5MM.   
  • Jane Lee of breaks down the dollars and reasoning behind Oakland's quick flip of Willy Taveras earlier this month.
  • There are no new developments between Jonny Gomes and the Reds, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the two sides are still talking.  GM Walt Jocketty is hopeful the team and player "can get something done this weekend."
  • Chuck Finder of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at some of the issues facing the Pirates this spring, and notes that the club's young players could be helped without the pressure to win starting jobs.

Nationals Have Interest In Kris Benson

TUESDAY, 7:33pm: Ladson reports (via Twitter) that the team and Benson's agent haven't spoken yet because both sides have been busy working on Brian Bruney's arbitration case. Bruney and Benson share an agent.

SATURDAY, 12:01pm: The Nationals have not confirmed their interest in Benson according to Ladson, however they did attend his "impressive workouts" over the last few weeks.

FRIDAY, 3:18pm: The Nationals have some interest in free agent righty Kris Benson, tweets's Bill Ladson. GM Mike Rizzo and Benson's agent Gregg Clifton are hoping to meet early next week after a snow storm got in the way this week (link goes to Twitter).

Benson, 35, is apparently 100% after battling arm injuries for the better part of the last three seasons. In 22.1 innings for the Rangers last season, he allowed 23 runs with more walks (12) than strikeouts (11). It was his first big league action since 2006. As long as they don't guarantee him a roster spot, there's nothing wrong with seeing what Benson has to offer in Spring Training.

Odds & Ends: Upton, Jackson, Tigers, Lopez

Friday night linkage..

  • B.J. Upton and the Rays had their arbitration hearing today and the decision from that hearing is expected tomorrow, writes Bill Chastain of  Tampa Bay is offering $3MM while Upton wants $3.3MM.
  • Steve Gilbert of tweets that there is still no movement in talks between the D-Backs and Edwin Jackson.  Jackson is seeking $6.25MM while Arizona is offering $4.6MM.
  • If the Tigers ink Johnny Damon, the club may look make a trade to free up their glut in the outfield, writes James Schmehl of MLive.comRyan Raburn and Clete Thomas could be shipped elsewhere in order to make room for Damon in the lineup.  Schmehl also writes that GM Dave Dombrowski may try to move Nate Robertson and Carlos Guillen, though their hefty contracts will be an impediment.
  • Phil Wood of fails to understand the Nats' interest in pitcher Kris Benson.  The 35-year-old has not pitched a full season since 2006, when he posted a 4.82 ERA with 4.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 for the Orioles.
  • Australian catcher Guy Edmonds has signed with the Texas Rangers, according to Christian Nicolussi of The Daily Telegraph.  Nicolussi writes that the 16-year-old has the potential to outperform the country's greatest baseball export, Dave Nilsson.
  • ESPN's Rob Neyer defends Tim Lincecum's signing of a two-year deal with the Giants.  Tiny Tim was seeking $13MM in arbitration with the club.
  • Rangers pitchers Omar Beltre and Alexi Ogando – banned for the past five years due to their involvement in a visa fraud scandal – have received their visas and are expected in Spring Training, according to T.R. Sullivan of  In total, the Rangers are expecting 56 players in camp.
  • On his website, founder Matthew Cerrone was asked by a reader if reporters in the mainstream media "make up" hot stove rumors.  While he says that this is not the case, the seriousness of talks between clubs are, at times, not communicated effectively.  Because of the strange nature of the baseball rumor mill, Cerrone says that he and Tim Dierkes provide an important service to fans by adding context to hot stove rumblings.