Benson's move: Take it slowly


Pitcher will decide at season's end if he wants to stay with O's in 2007


NEW YORK -- If a player with five or more years of experience is traded in the middle of a multi-year contract, he has a contractual right to ask for a trade after the season. Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the New York Mets, knows that reality.

However, the 31-year-old said yesterday that he and his agent, Gregg Clifton, have put off all decisions on his future with the club until after the season.

"Gregg and I just talked about waiting until after the season is over and we're going to see where we're at, where the team is at," said Benson, who takes a 9-9 record and a 4.74 ERA into his start tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays. "I am not even concerning myself with it right now until the season is over."

Benson will have to give the Orioles written notice within 15 days after the World Series if he plans to exercise that right. If he didn't rescind his request for a trade, the Orioles would have until March 15 to trade him, or he'd become a free agent at that time.

Benson will make $7.5 million next season and he has a $7.5 million option for the 2008 season. The pitcher says that he has enjoyed his first year in Baltimore.

"What I have here is good," he said. "It's just a matter of sitting down and seeing from a career standpoint what I want to do. I have a good rapport with Jim [Duquette, Orioles vice president] and hopefully we'll be able to sit down and tell him my concerns and my likes and dislikes. But right now, Gregg and I just both said that we'll broach the subject when we get done with the season."

Perlozzo on Rodriguez

It happened several times over the past three days, including twice yesterday. In response to an error or an unsuccessful at-bat by Alex Rodriguez, Yankees fans shower the star third baseman with boos. Rodriguez was 2-for-10 in the series with one RBI, made an error in Tuesday's series opener and dropped Jay Gibbons' infield fly yesterday, though shortstop Derek Jeter got an error on the play after bumping into Rodriguez.

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo knows Rodriguez pretty well as he was a coach on the Seattle Mariners staff when Rodriguez got his start in the majors. He admitted that it has surprised him that Rodriguez has struggled at times this season.

"He's a super-talented kid, but then again, he's human," Perlozzo said. "When you get into Yankee territory, you can extend some [struggles] a little bit more, with the fans. He sounds to me, with his comments, like he's honest about his evaluations.

"I try to take a peek at him a bit to see if I can tell what he's doing wrong [at third base], but I don't want to tell him. He's still got good numbers, but what the heck? You can't hit 40 [homers] every year. I guess you could, but for him, in a down year, he's probably going to end up with 30. I'd take it."

Newhan sticking around

The Orioles were planning on sending David Newhan on a rehabilitation assignment after yesterday's game, but instead, they decided that he'll stay with the team a couple of more days before he'll report to Triple-A Ottawa for "three to four games."

"I think he needs a couple more days before we send him to the wolves for live hitting," said Perlozzo, who said Newhan will likely rejoin the team when rosters expand in September. "He's doing everything he's capable of doing. He's a little rusty - bat speed and strength - but that's understandable. That's part of the process. That's why we want to give him a couple more days of hitting."

Around the horn

The 160,995 to attend the three-game series was the most ever for the Orioles for a three-date road series. ... On Wednesday night, Chris Ray became only the second pitcher in Yankee Stadium history to earn a save of two innings or more after allowing the first two runners to reach base, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Milwaukee's Bob McClure also did it in 1980. ... Yankees starter Jaret Wright had gone a career-high 10 straight starts without allowing a home run before Brian Roberts opened yesterday's game by taking him deep. ... The Yankees lost their first home series since they were swept by the Oakland Athletics on June 9-11.

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