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Benitez is Back

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This is a courtesy post for those of you who didn't hear that Armando Benitez is now a Marlin, again. <shudder>

Armando Benitez is returning to the team for which he had his best year in 14 major-league seasons.

The Marlins acquired the beleaguered closer from the Giants on Thursday for reliever Randy Messenger.

Benitez's final pitch after more than two seasons in San Francisco resulted in a 12th inning, game-winning solo home run for the Mets' Carlos Delgado Tuesday. Benitez had balked twice in the inning, including one that allowed the tying run.

While Benitez was with the Giants he was the kind of a teammate that inspired others to come to him with their problems.

Benitez recently fell out of favor with his teammates after he blamed the offense for his loss against Colorado on Friday. He was confronted by one teammate, according to reports, who said, "We would respect you more if you took the blame yourself."

And this is on a team that has Barry Bonds in the clubhouse.

Not to mention, he is physically in great shape.

A chronically arthritic right knee, which he spent last off-season rehabilitating, also has hampered Benitez.

Well, enough of that.  Here is how the deal breaks down, monetarily.

Benitez is owed $5,066,666 from the remainder of his $7.6 million salary this year, of which Florida will pay $333,333 and San Francisco will pay $4,733,333.

Benitez is in the final year of his contract making this a two-thirds of the year rental.  His employment with the Marlins will cost the team an extra $80,000 more than Messenger would have made for the "upgrade" to the bullpen.

So the remaining question is what role is he going to play on the team.  Fredi had this to say:

"Kevin's going to be the guy who is going to be closing for us," Gonzalez said Thursday night before the Marlins lost 4-3 to the the Milwaukee Brewers. "I think he deserves that opportunity."

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"We'll sit down and talk to him," Gonzalez said of Benitez. "Right now, Kevin has earned that opportunity [to close] and we'll see."


(emphasis is mine)

Don't fool yourself, I can almost guarantee that Benitez will be thrust into the closer slot shortly and he will become the new "He's our guy".  You know, the position Julio used to fill.

The problem I have with this trade is I don't understand it.  What is the goal of the club, are they winning too much and therefore jeopardizing the chances for the first pick in the draft next year?  The team didn't need a closer, they have at least two who do an excellent job.  Middle relief has been a little iffy lately but if the organization can get some of the starters back from the DL and get the ones who are presently playing to go a little deeper in the game.  It should be fine.  I don't get this trade.

But I do know this, the trade creates a problem for later in the year.  Some time this season Logan Kensing and Carlos Martinez are expected to rejoin the club and someone has to go down to accommodate their arrival to the 25-man roster and it won't be Benitez, no matter how he is throwing.  Benitez better earn his extra $80,000 because he is blocking progress.

Oh yeah, Welcome aboard Armando!

[Update]

Oh my, I only wish I were this funny and creative, but here is what the Giants fans think about the trade:

What Do You Think?

Check it out