Update: According to Ladson, the Nationals have not confirmed their interest in Benson, although they did attend one of his recent workouts. Benson’s agent Gregg Clifton hopes to meet with general manager Mike Rizzo in Tampa next week, where arbitration hearings are scheduled to take place. Clifton also represents right-hander Brian Bruney, whose arbitration case is scheduled for Tuesday, so the two sides have some talking to do. Benson’s name will probably come up at some point, though he hasn’t pitched a full season since 2006.
Friday, 4:55 pm: Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweets that the Nationals are interested in Kris Benson and that Mike Rizzo and Benson’s agent are gonna have a cawfee and tawk about it next week.
I find it strange that the Nats are on record this winter saying that they want to bring in some innings-eating mediocrity of a starter — which they even once said was a “Livan Hernandez-type” — yet they haven’t called former Nat Livan Hernandez, who still sits out there unemployed and who figures to at least be way healthier than a guy like Benson.
Shohei Ohtani made it pretty clear early in the posting process that he was not going to consider east coast teams. As such, it’s understandable if east coast teams didn’t stop all work in order to put together an Ohtani pitch before he signed with the Angels. The Baltimore Orioles, however, didn’t do so for a somewhat different reason than all of the other also-rans.
Their reason, as explained by general manager Dan Duquette on MLB Network Radio yesterday was “because philosophically we don’t participate on the posting part of it.” Suggesting that, as a matter of policy, they will not even attempt to sign Japanese players via the posting system.
Like I said, that probably didn’t make a hill of beans’ difference when it came to Ohtani, who was unlikely to give the O’s the time of day. I find it really weird, though, that the Orioles would totally reject the idea of signing Japanese players via the posting system on policy grounds. None of their opponents are willing to unilaterally disarm in that fashion, I presume.
More than that, though, why would you make that philosophy public? Don’t you want your rivals to think you’re in competition with them in all facets of the game? Don’t you want your fans to think that you’ll stop at nothing to improve the team?
An odd thing to say for Duquette. I don’t know quite why he’d say such a thing.