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Nationals interested in Benson

Nationals interested in Benson

WASHINGTON -- Count the Nationals as one of the teams interested in right-hander Kris Benson, according to a baseball official. Washington had two scouts go to Arizona on Monday to watch Benson throw on the mound. The source said assistant general manager Mike Rizzo was in attendance.

Benson, 33, was a member of the Orioles last season, but he didn't pitch in a game because of rotator cuff surgery. Benson became a free agent this offseason after the Orioles didn't pick up his option.

Benson was able to throw 60 pitches on Monday and didn't feel any pain, according to his agent, Gregg Clifton.

"I thought it went very well," Clifton said. "There were 25 scouts in attendance. From an overall perspective, I thought it was a very effective workout and he showed that he is 100 percent recovered from his injury and he is way ahead of schedule on his normal offseason program."

Clifton said Benson will work out for teams on a case-by-case basis for the rest of the offseason.

Benson has been in the big leagues for eight years. He is 68-73 with a 4.43 ERA. In addition to playing for the Orioles, Benson was a member of the Pirates and Mets.

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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