Although the Diamondbacks have not yet officially announced the deal, which is pending a physical, Gregg Clifton, Benson's agent, confirmed the agreement to the Arizona Republic. According to a baseball source, Benson will earn $650,000 plus up to $100,000 in incentives if he spends enough time in the majors. Benson threw five simulated innings against D-backs minor leaguers on Friday.
Due to injuries and ineffectiveness, Kris Benson has only pitched 22.1 major league innings since the end of the 2006 season. All of those frames came while he pitched for the Texas Rangers last year, and Benson had an 8.46 ERA during that span. The D-backs are desperate for additional options to the starting rotation with staff ace Brandon Webb having not yet faced hitters in spring training.
"Every club is always wanting to ensure pitching depth," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said, avoiding saying that the move was made in response to Webb's health.
The D-backs also optioned Cesar Valdez to minor league camp yesterday, taking
him out of the running for any open rotation spots at the big league level for
now. Interestingly, non-roster invitee Barry Enright remains in big league camp, having
tossed three scoreless innings against major league hitters so far.
Enright could be a darkhorse candidate to break camp with the club.
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