Several news outlets, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the News Journal of Delaware and MLB.com, believe right-hander Kris Benson could be in Clearwater by the end of the week.
According to reports, Benson’s agent Gregg Clifton is talking turkey with Phillies Assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr. on what is reportedly an incentive-laden one-year contract. The 33-year-old is trying to bounce back after surgery for a torn labrum.
Beerleaguer: The Phillies are doing the right thing here, and I’m excited by the possibilities. They've snuffed out a sketchy situation with Adam Eaton, and they're ready to take preventative measures.
Benson’s a sleeper. Even if he doesn’t make his first appearance until June, the chances the Phils can make it even that far with a healthy, viable starting five are remote. Think of the upside. Suppose they ink Benson with an option year and he turns out to be fine? It would be a coup. I'm really hoping they can settle on a club option.
Not to say he’ll win Cy Youngs, but a healthy Benson fits the bill of a true fourth or fifth starter on a World Series contender. And if he fails – so be it. On Feb. 13, what else were they going to spend their money on, unless you believe the Phillies were prepared to open up their wallets for Kyle Lohse, which I still don’t believe is within their budget, even at the reduced rate. It's possible Benson alone puts them over their self-imposed cap.
After Pedro Feliz, consider Benson your bonus for being a patient fan this winter. The off-season has seen lots of dreck move across the market, very little of which will make any impact whatsoever. Benson could make an impact.