Archive for Thursday, July 17, 2003

Yankees acquire Benitez from Mets

July 17, 2003


— Now Armando Benitez will really learn about pressure: Pitching the eighth inning for the Yankees could be even more stressful than closing out games for the Mets.

Benitez, the Mets' closer since 1999 and the team's only All-Star this year, was dealt across town Wednesday and will become the setup man for Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees will pay the remainder of Benitez's $6.75 million salary this year, which comes to $2,729,508, plus $456,434 in additional luxury tax. The Mets get right-handed pitchers Jason Anderson, Anderson Garcia and Ryan Bicondoa.

Benitez became the target of boos at Shea Stadium, blamed for his central role in the team's collapse.

"I know in this town some failures get magnified and talked about," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "I think a change of scenery will do him good. ... Armando has the opportunity to show the New York scene he can be successful in tough spots, like he has been most of the time with the Mets. Armando has a fresh start to prove here, in the same city, that some of this stuff might be more overblown than it is."

The 30-year-old right-hander, eligible for free agency after the season, is 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 45 games this season, blowing seven of his 28 save chances.

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