Pirates GM Comments On Benson Blockbuster

After much speculation, Pittsburgh shipped away right-hander Kris Benson, along with minor league infielder Jeff Keppinger, to the New York Mets on Friday evening in exchange for Ty Wigginton, Matt Peterson, and infielder Jose Bautista. <P> Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield comments on the players involved.

Armed with a low 90's fastball and strong curveball which has developed as his best pitch, the general manager likes what he sees in Matt Peterson.

"He's sill fairly young, he's been successful throughout his career and he's a right-handed pitcher that falls into the group of stars that we have high hopes for."

Wigginton has become a fan favorite in New York, becoming a hot offensive hitter of late and adding a hard-nosed style of play to the diamond. On the season he is hitting .285 with 12 homers, 23 doubles, and 42 RBI. In the month of July he's hitting a robust .340 with 5 homers and 13 RBI.

"He has improved and he's gaining experience at the major-league level. It's not as though, at 26 years old, he's been up here very long. He's certainly got the label of a ballplayer and I'm anxious to see myself."

Meanwhile, the Mets received the highly coveted right-hander Kris Benson, currently 8-8 with a 4.22 ERA, who has been lights out in his previous ten starts heading into the deadline.

"He's certainly a talented guy who came into the industry with high expectations and they probably didn't play out the way everybody wanted it to. But Kris had a variety of injuries, too, and he's pitched well this year and pitched very well in the recent past."

New York also picked up minor league infielder Jeff Keppinger in the deal.

"We hate to lose players like Keppinger. He's played very well since he's been with us. This is part of the process of trying to improve at the major league level that you have to give up some of your minor league prospects.

(Thanks to Keith Barnes for quotes from Littlefield).


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