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Washington Nationals: Late Friday Notes...

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• As far back as 2007, the Washington Nationals have expressed interest in right-handed starter Kris Benson, with reports at the time placing then-Asst-GM Mike Rizzo at workouts Benson had held to prove he was fully recovered from surgery to prepare a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. More recently, FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported in late January that the Nationals were one of several teams on a list of interested suitors should the 35-year-old right-hander who was (1-1) with an ERA over 8.00 in 2 starts and 4 relief appearances with the Texas Rangers last season, prove healthy enough to pitch in 2010. MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported via Twitter this afternoon that Washington continues to, "...have interest in RHP Kris Benson. His agent, Gregg Clifton, and GM Mike Rizzo are hoping to meet early next week." 

Benson signed a 1-year/$750,000 dollar deal with Texas last February, but he made just two starts, allowing a combined 16 hits, 12 runs, 11 earned, 5 walks and 3 HR's in 11.0 inings, before he was moved to the bullpen and eventually outrighted by the Rangers in early June. In an article on Benson's demotion to Triple-A by MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, the former first overall pick was said to be, "...experiencing some irritation in his right elbow from scar tissue that has grown back in a spot where he had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery eight years ago," but recent reports claim the pitcher is completely healthy...as any mid-30's MLB pitcher whose undergone surgery on his elbow and shoulder can be..I guess...

In 8 seasons, 197 starts and 6 relief appearances, Benson's walked 435 (3.2 BB/9) and struck out 798 (5.8 K/9) while posting a 1.39 WHIP and a combined 4.41 ERA (100 ERA+) since the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him with the no.1 pick in the 1996 Draft.

Benson? Chien-Ming Wang? John Smoltz? Will DC GM Mike Rizzo be able to finally add the veteran arm he's been searching for since signing Jason Marquis? Any chance Miguel Batista is the 4th or 5th starter the Nationals have been looking for? 

• The Nationals also announced the official signing of infielder Adam Kennedy this afternoon, officially signaling their intention to keep Cristian Guzman at short and decide what to do with Ian Desmond later. (Please not as a utility man, please?) The 1-year/$1.25 million dollar deal Kennedy signed today includes a $2M dollar club option for twenty-eleven. What Washington didn't announce however, was which player they would be removing from the 40-Man Roster to make room for the 34-year-old second baseman...MLB.com's Bill Ladson says that announcement is due in the next couple days...

• Washington Nationals' Official Press Release on Kennedy signing.