An Overweight Oft-Injured Reliever?
Ian, author of the wildly popular blog RANDOM THOUGHTS (link on your right), has guided me to the Giants' pitcher Armando Benitez and his possible future (no, no!) with the Red Sox. He's in the final year of a three year $21.5 million contract with the San Francisco club. Read a little more about this from the San Francisco Chronicle.......title click for the entire piece......
"Benitez, dogged by injuries and ineffectiveness the past two years, tossed a scoreless inning in his first appearance of the exhibition season Sunday. He wants to succeed to show he can overcome adversity, and the Giants want him to succeed so he'd be more tradable. Or more usable, if, in fact, they keep him.
"I want to be here," Benitez said, "but there's nothing I can do about that."
Benitez, who was behind other relievers because of the tendinitis in both knees and a bout with the flu, twice threw to minor-leaguers before pitching Sunday. Mostly, scouts clocked Benitez in the high 80s and low 90s, a sign that he still has a good ways to go. Several of Benitez's pitches were high and away, and one scout noticed his lower half didn't seem totally right. Hamstring surgery in 2005 and an arthritic right knee in 2006 cut short Benitez's only seasons in San Francisco.
Benitez said he expects to be available on Opening Day, no matter where he is.
"Oh, yeah," he said after Sunday's performance. "It all depends on my knee. I feel good right now. The last two years, I wasn't healthy. I'm happy to come back and be with my team again."
Most recently, the bullpen-depleted Red Sox were said to have inquired about Benitez, who regularly got booed by Giants fans and is entering the final leg of his three-year, $21.5 million contract."
Peter here, and yes, the Sox seem to be interested in the services of this knee-hampered 34 year old. When healthy, he can do the job. Overpaid at $21.5 million? I'd say so, especially in his current condition. He gets booed at home, boos that should be reserved for his fellow team member Barry Bonds. But the Sox are desperate for a short term (less than or approximately one year) solution to their back end-less bullpen. And with a 5 man rotation that rivals the best in baseball, the lack of a closer is hard for me to swallow. Impossible, in fact. Theo knows it. The entire front office knows it. Every member of RSN knows it! And yes, something will be done about it. Exactly what? My crystal ball is at the cleaners.....the future looked too dim, but for $10.95, they'll brighten it up. I wish it were so easy for the Red Sox bullpen 2007. There's time...desperate measures need not be taken....yet.