Mets, Benson move closer

Kris Benson should get his wish in the next week or so, as the free-agent righthander and the Mets move closer toward a deal that will keep him in New York. <P> It has been reported that the two sides have found middle ground in a contract offer that should settle in around three years and $23 million, once the particulars and any possible incentives are worked out.

That plays out well for Benson, who made no secret of the fact that New York was the place he wanted to stay after the Mets acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 30.

He made 11 starts for New York, going 4-4 with a 4.50 ERA – overall, Benson was 12-12 with a 4.31 ERA in 33 starts – and though the Mets floundered out of any possible postseason play right about the time of his arrival, Benson was adamant that the club's struggles would not impact his desire to pitch for the large-market club.

Part of that was due in part to his wife, Anna, an aspiring model and actress who spoke about opening a Manhattan boutique – the couple went apartment shopping late in the season, typically not a move made by those planning a transient route through New York.

Mookie returning?

Mookie Wilson interviewed on Wednesday for the Mets' first-base coach position, a job he held from 1997 through 2002. Wilson had been managing the Single-A Kingsport Mets.

Sandy Alomar, Sr., who is expected to nail the bench coach position, also interviewed.

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