Right-hander Kris Benson will reportedly throw for scouts again today, and the Phillies are expected to be among those in attendance. [Link]
Benson is reportedly seeking a one-year deal with incentives following surgery for a torn labrum. In seven seasons, the 33-year-old owns a 68-73 mark with a 4.34 ERA, missing all of last season recovering from surgery. Meanwhile, free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse hangs in limbo. The club hasn’t ruled out the possibility of resigning him, but continue to downplay the likelihood of his return.
Beerleaguer: Rather than close the book on the off-season, the Phillies are positioning themselves to add last-minute pitching in mid-February. Lohse would be a much safer choice, albeit a bigger investment. However, either of these pitchers has the potential to greatly improve the rotation, provided Benson can overcome his shoulder problems.
Length of contract continues to be a sticking point for the Phils. They reportedly didn’t want to go the extra years with Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Rowand and took themselves out of the early running for Lohse when he initially demanded four years. It appears they’ve successfully waited him out. His demands have dropped, and the likelihood of his return has never been greater than at any point this winter, even if the chances remain slim.
Nevertheless, the possibility of adding at least one of them appears to be pretty good. Should it happen, they will have added a starter, swing man, third baseman, right fielder, left-handed reliever and closer, among other moves made around the perimeter. Considering their farm system leaves them short-handed to swing deals like those made for Johan Santana and Eric Bedard, a last-minute move for a starter would make it a relatively decent, well-rounded winter for the home club.
If only they could figure out a creative way to add another reliever. Perhaps in the spring when clubs whittle their rosters or realize they're a little short.