O's get Benson from Mets for Julio, Maine

Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
BALTIMORE - The Orioles acquired right-hander Kris Benson from the New York Mets on Saturday in exchange for right-handers Jorge Julio and John Maine.
Benson went 10-8 with a 4.13 ERA in 28 starts for the Mets in 2005. He was third on the Mets' staff in both wins and starts.
Benson spent parts of five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to New York in July 2004. He missed the entire 2001 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
For his career, he is 57-61 with a 4.25 ERA in 165 starts.
Julio was Baltimore's closer from 2002-04 and had 36 saves in 2003, a career high. After losing the closer's job to B.J. Ryan, he went 3-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 67 appearances last season.
In five major league seasons, he is 11-24 with a 4.20 ERA and 83 saves.
Maine went 2-3 with a 6.30 ERA in 10 appearances for the Orioles last year after being recalled from Triple-A Ottawa in August. He was the Orioles' sixth-round pick in the 2002 draft and made his major league debut in 2004.
n BRAVES: Pitcher Jorge Sosa agreed to a $2.2 million, one-year deal after the best season of his career.
The 28-year-old right-hander was acquired by the Braves before last season in a seemingly minor deal with Tampa Bay. After starting out in the bullpen, he claimed a spot in rotation and went 13-3 with a 2.55 ERA.
n TWINS: Minnesota and utilityman Michael Cuddyer agreed to a $1.3 million, one-year contract that avoided arbitration.
Cuddyer asked for $1.5 million and the Twins offered $1.1 million when the teams exchanged arbitration figures Tuesday. Cuddyer, who began last season as the regular third baseman, will be competing for time in right field this spring with Jason Kubel and Lew Ford. Cuddyer, 26, hit .263 with 12 homers, 42 RBIs and 25 doubles in 422 at-bats last year - all career highs.
n MARLINS: Officials exploring possible relocation recently visited Portland, Ore., where residents tried unsuccessfully for years to land the Montreal Expos.
Portlanders still remain rabidly interested in securing a major league team, but what was the reaction of the city's relatively new mayor to the idea that the city would have to contribute to the construction of a ballpark?
"Publicly financed baseball would not be coming to Portland on my watch," Mayor Tom Potter said. He also told local reporters, "Portland is facing a crisis in education, and being able to fund our children's future - that's my top priority, to find funding for that." Potter said he had a "very strong sense" that most Portland residents didn't care about getting a baseball team.
Steve Kanter disagrees. A law professor at Lewis & Clark College, Kanter is president of the Portland Baseball Group.
"Frankly," Kanter said, speaking diplomatically, "we wish the mayor had been a little more publicly enthusiastic than he was and more careful with his language. We're disappointed that he wasn't."
In 2003, the Oregon Legislature agreed to give $150 million toward the cost of an estimated $400 million stadium. The Marlins have said they will contribute a significant amount to a stadium wherever they go.
"I think there's a potential for a public-private partnership," Kanter said. "But at the end of the day it will take local effort, and over time the mayor will see the benefits. We certainly don't want to take away from public education funding. I hope that the mayor will be more open-minded."

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