D-backs Sign Kris Benson
Benson with Oklahoma City in 2009

Posted Mar 16, 2010

In light of Brandon Webb's delayed progress in spring training, the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed veteran right-hander Kris Benson to a minor league deal. Benson has 69 career wins, but has only won one major league game since the 2006 season.

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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