From the hardly shocking news department: Kris Benson told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that he has decided to retire.
“I’m done,” the 36-year-old said by phone from his home outside Atlanta. “I decided pretty much after this past season that I wasn’t going to pursue anything. I’ve been putting way too much into it and not getting enough out of it, as far as the rehab, working out, training, and then not getting the type of results I expect from myself.”
Benson attempted yet another comeback last season as a member of the Diamondbacks, posting a 5.14 ERA over three starts, but didn’t make another appearance in the big leagues after the final week of April due to shoulder problems. The former 1996 No. 1 overall pick has tossed just 36 1/3 innings at the major league level since 2006.
Benson wraps up his career with a 70-75 record to go along with a 4.42 ERA over parts of nine major league seasons between the Pirates, Mets, Orioles, Rangers and Diamondbacks.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.