The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Red Sox have inquired as to the availability of closer Armando Benitez. It is no secret that the Giants are looking to move Benitez, as they have soured on him. (Photo from
The 34-year old Benitez is making $7.6 million in the final year of his contract that he signed with the Giants for the 2005 season.
Benitez has a career 2.95 ERA and 280 saves. He broke in with the Baltimore Orioles and became their closer in 1998 at age 25, his last season with them. He notched 22 saves at that time with a 3.82 era. In 1999 with the New York Mets (traded for Charles Johnson), he saved 22 again with a 1.85 ERA and since then has been a closer.
Despite solid totals, Benitez was traded to the Yankees in 2003 for Jason Anderson. He was traded again for Jeff Nelson to the Mariners the same year. He pitched for the Florida Marlins in 2004, notching 47 saves and a 1.90 ERA. Signing with the Giants, he has notched a 4.50 ERA in 2005 and 3.52 in 2004, saving 19 and 17 games and battling injuries.
While Benitez’s stats have remained consistent, he has fallen out of favor with many teams due to his attitude, his weight, and his tendency to get injured.
Reports have it the Red Sox are interested in acquiring Benitez. Time will tell who the Red Sox would give up (likely nobody major). If Benitez arrived, he would likely open the season as closer, despite Joel Pineiro’s recent strong showing.