Yeah, that guy.
Kris Benson threw for Diamondbacks officials on Friday as the club explores ways to increase depth in their starting rotation. Multiple sources have told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that Brandon Webb will almost certainly start the season on the disabled list as he rehabs his surgically-repaired right shoulder.
So what better guy to sign than Benson, who hasn’t made 30 starts in a season since 2006? The former No. 1 pick opened last season in the Rangers’ starting rotation, but quickly hit the disabled list with elbow tendinitis. He posted an 8.46 ERA and 2.01 WHIP in eight appearances (two starts) and was off the club’s 40-man roster by June.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.