Benson’s Return – Round Two

Kris Benson has had quite the curious career, mixing solid and awful campaigns with an unappealing injury history, and a personal relationship that hogged more headlines than his actual performance. He burst onto the scene in 1999, with the Pirates, and put up an impressive 4.14 FIP in 196.2 innings. Benson avoided the sophomore slump in 2000, posting a 4.20 FIP in 217.2 innings. He then missed the entire 2001 season recovering from an injury and saw limited action the next two seasons.

In 2004, Benson split time between the Pirates and Mets, and put together his best season. With a 3.75 FIP, 2.20 K/BB, and +3.8 wins in 200.1 innings, Benson appeared to have finally recovered from his injury woes, righting the proverbial ship in the process. Unfortunately, this was not the case, as his strikeout and home run rates trended in opposite directions in 2005 and 2006, leading Benson back under the knife for rotator cuff surgery.

He missed the entire 2007 season recovering and went through the audition process before landing a gig in the Phillies farm system in 2008. Things didn’t exactly work out as planned, as not only did Benson fail to reach the major leagues, he struggled to shut down AAA hitting, eventually earning his release from the team. After some more auditioning, the Rangers have taken a flyer on Benson, signing him to a minor league deal that could be valued at $2 mil if he makes the team and earns a spot in the rotation.

This bugs me. I don’t know how I became the Chairman of the Odalis Perez Foundation, but I just struggle to comprehend how the 34-yr old Benson, who stunk in the minor leagues last year and has not pitched in the majors since 2006 has the chance to make over twice what the 31-yr old Odalis Perez—who has put up win values of +1.6, +1.4, +1.5, and +1.5 over the last four seasons—will make in 2009.

Ignoring the Perez comparison, this is not a bad move for the Rangers given how poor their rotation performed last season and how relatively little Benson costs. If he makes the team, he seems capable of hovering around +1-win performance but he no longer has the +2 or +3 win upside evident in his stellar 2004 season. And who knows if he has even fully recovered? This is a solid move for the Rangers but I just wonder why someone like Perez was not more attractive to their plans.



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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.


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David A.
Guest
7 years 6 months ago

I know it’s something of a slippery slope, and I won’t spell it all out because it’s mostly just hearsay, but there might be something to Perez being a guy teams simply don’t want to have in their clubhouse. The charity thing was really weird, for instance.

Rafa
Guest
Rafa
7 years 6 months ago

I think O-Perez’s agent needs to find a new line of work. After all the bad press online, which Odalis obviously caught wind of considering his hold-out and release, there is no way any player could trust this agent to serve in the player’s best interests.

WY
Guest
WY
7 years 6 months ago

I agree with David A.: Perez is a fringe-y back-of-the-rotation pitcher who seems to be a bit of a headcase. You figure word of that sort of thing probably gets around, and if so, that has to factor in to his perceived value. The latest incident with the holdout is just embarrassing. He’ll be lucky to even get $850K from another team now.

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
7 years 6 months ago

One thing about Odalis Perez is FIP might be overvaluing him. tRA has him basically being a replacement pitcher. This is probably because Perez has run a high BABIP which can be attributed a little bit to his crappy talent and not just bad luck. Not a bad pitcher but might not be as good at 1.5 WAR. Maybe closer to 0.5 WAR.

WY
Guest
WY
7 years 6 months ago

I was wondering about this too. He has had several seasons when his ERA was well above his FIP.

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