Diamondbacks Sign Benson as Insurance

Kris Benson was the first overall pick in the baseball amateur draft in 1996 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Benson made his way through the Pirates minor league system and became a dominating pitcher for the team.

At the time he was one of the most sought after pitchers in all of baseball. In 2004 the Pirates traded Benson to the New York Mets. He pitched in 11 games for the Mets that season going 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA. That performance earned him a free agent contract with New York.

During his tenure with the Mets, Benson’s wife Anna in an interview with Howard Stern vowed that if her husband ever cheated on her she would sleep with the entire Mets organization. Her outspoken nature continued throughout his career in New York and ended after showing up to a Christmas event in a provocative outfit.

Benson was subsequently traded to the Baltimore Orioles where he struggled after arm problems. After his release he spent time with the Philadelphia Phillies and last season with the Texas Rangers.

After making the Rangers Opening Day club, Benson was relegated to the bullpen and ultimately released. Now part way through Spring Training the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed the 35-year old veteran to a minor league contract.

When Spring Training started the Diamondbacks were looking for a fifth starter. Recently setbacks to Brandon Webb have forced the team to look for two starters to begin the first month of the season.

After watching the internal candidates for starting pitching it is clear why Arizona signed Benson. None of those auditioning for a spot in the rotation have excelled and most if not all of them have struggled as of late.

There is some question as to how much Benson still has in the tank. Looking over the alternatives, this might be the best choice the Diamondbacks have to piece together a pitching staff until Webb can return.

It will likely take Benson three weeks before he is going to be ready meaning he will likely start the season in Triple-A Reno. He could be ready for April 17th which is the first date the Diamondbacks would need a fifth starter.

I have to wonder if Anna’s statement still holds true. If Kris Benson somehow makes it to the major league level and has some success for the Diamondbacks and is unfaithful will she go through with her threat and fly back to New York to meet the entire Mets organization.

It may be the hottest story in Arizona which says a lot for a place that is accustomed to 115 degree temperatures.

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