CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It may end up a non-issue, but a deadline is approaching on Kris Benson, and the Phillies are faced with a question.
No later than Tuesday, the Phillies must place the right-hander on the 40-man roster, or risk Benson opting out of his Minor League contract and becoming a free agent.
If he's added, Benson will earn a $500,000 salary with performance incentives, and could earn as much as $5.1 million. If not, he has 24 hours to exercise his opt-out option.
Though things could change, Benson seemed confident that he'll be in the Phillies' organization after Tuesday, where he'll continue rehabbing his right shoulder with the hope of joining the Phillies in May.
"They put a lot of time in to get my shoulder straight, so I'm sure they don't want to just blow that off," Benson said. "I'm sure that even though it's a minimal investment, they'll want to make sure the time invested pays off. I'm sure I'll be here after [Tuesday]."
Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to discuss the deadline.
Should Benson opt out, he may have difficulty finding another team willing to support his recovery. The 33-year-old suffered a setback when he experienced soreness after his Minor League start on March 13, then stopped throwing for four days.
Benson described the ailment as biceps tendinitis, and it's unclear when he'll next appear on a mound.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.