The Mets are moving toward dealing starter Kris Benson to the Orioles for reliever Jorge Julio (above), sources have told The Post.
It is a trade that makes sense for both teams and could be consummated at the winter meetings, which begin next week in Dallas.
With the improvement of Aaron Heilman, the Mets have a surplus of starting pitchers and have been looking to deal Benson. Omar Minaya is reshaping the Mets, and Benson is not a pitcher Minaya acquired.
A second source confirmed the two sides are in “concrete” talks to finalize the trade. The Orioles need pitching, especially a veteran starter, and Benson, who turned 31 on Nov. 7, fits the bill.
This deal makes no sense to me, because of the innings that Benson gives the Mets — unless it’s a pure salary dump. And while Benson is 31 years old, Pedro Martinez is 34, Steve Trachsel is 35, and Tom Glavine is 39. I’d keep Benson. He’s never reached the potential that others saw in him, but when healthy, he’s decent.
I don’t think the salary dump aspect can be ignored. Benson is seen by many as overpaid and there’s every chance the Mets will be adding substantial talent (Molina, Hernandez, Manny, etc.) in the days to come. Alternatively, shipping Benson to Baltimore opens up the possibility, however unlikely, the Mets might try to contend for Kevin Millwood, Jeff Weaver or Paul Byrd.
In addition to the week’s early batch of Bobby Abreu-to-St. Louis gossip, the Post’s Michael Morrisey suggests an Abreu for Manny Ramirez swap, while alluding that Philly might want some salary relief.
While I have no idea who will win the bidding for AJ Burnett, St. Louis or Toronto, Charley Steiner points out that prescription medication is quite cheap north of the border. Though I didn’t know that Burnett would be eligible for free health care, Steiner didn’t get to where he is today by shooting off his mouth first and thinking later.
He’s done quite well omitting the “thinking later” part.