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Agent says Nats eyeing Benson

Agent says Nationals eyeing Benson

Chien-Ming Wang isn't the only veteran pitcher the Nationals have interest in. They also have their eyes on right-hander Kris Benson, according to his agent, Gregg Clifton.

The Nationals have not confirmed that they are interested in Benson, who has spent eight seasons in the big leagues. Benson, 35, hasn't pitched a full season since 2006, when he was with the Orioles. Over the past three seasons, Benson has been limited to a combined 22 1/3 innings, due to injuries and ineffectiveness.

According to Clifton, Benson's shoulder and elbow are 100 percent. Over the past few weeks, in fact, Benson has had impressive workouts in front of several clubs, including the Nats.

Clifton is hoping to meet with general manager Mike Rizzo to discuss Benson on Monday or Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., which is where arbitration cases are taking place.

Clifton also represents Washington right-hander Brian Bruney, whose arbitration case is scheduled for Tuesday.

"We've talked, and they were very impressed by his workout. Kris is 100 percent healthy now," Clifton said via telephone. "We had some conversations, obviously. There hasn't been much going on this week because of the [snowstorm in Washington]. That kind of restricted things. So, we'll see. All the feedback from teams has been very positive."

Benson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, is best known for his years with the Pirates and Mets. His best season was in 2000, when he went 10-12 with a 3.85 ERA for the Bucs.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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