O's officially decline option on Benson

We've talked this one to death, and the move was all but etched in stone about a week ago, but I still say it's very much the right thing to do. It's not that I think Benson would hurt the team next year, and the $7.5 million the option held isn't a ton of money on today's market, but here are my top five reasons to not bring back Kris Benson, and why I applaud the Orioles for making the daring move:

  1. He just missed 2007 with a torn labrum, and this is not his first rodeo with serious arm injuries.
  2. Outside of the '99 and 2000 seasons, when he could strike people out, Benson has spent his entire career hovering a hair below the league average.
  3. He's 33 years old on Wednesday.
  4. That $7.5 million can be invested elsewhere, or even just in a fifth pitcher for the rotation that isn't coming off of a torn labrum that kept him out for the entirety of 2007.
  5. He was getting real close to a serious collapse with his K-rate and hittability, anyway.
I also don't think he's going to get $7.5 million on the open market. I'd bank on it. Steve Trachsel sat around until Benson got injured before he signed a one-year deal with anyone. Benson is aging, has every statistical idea in the world going against him, is nicely called "average" when the real term for him is "bust," and he's coming off of a torn labrum that kept him out for an entire season at age 32.

He's going to get a Trachsel-like deal from somebody who finds themselves in need. I wish him all the best. And if it was really you, Kris Benson, that taught Erik Bedard that changeup, then thanks, big guy.

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