Orioles decline option on right-hander Benson

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles cut ties with Kris Benson
on Thursday, declining their $7.5 million option for 2008 on the right-hander and
allowing him to become a free agent.

Benson, who missed the 2007 season with a torn labrum, receives
a $500,000 buyout. He made 30 starts for the Orioles in 2006, going
11-12 with a 4.82 ERA, after being acquired from the New York Mets
in a trade.

In seven major league seasons for the Pirates, Mets and Orioles,
Benson is 68-73 with a 4.34 ERA.