Rockies Sign Rafael Betancourt

The Rockies and right-hander Rafael Betancourt have agreed to terms on a minor league deal, the team announced via Twitter. Betancourt, who is represented by Octagon, will report to extended Spring Training with the Rockies. Troy Renck of the Denver Post calls the signing a “formality,” noting that his plan is to work out in extended Spring Training with an eye toward pitching in the Majors late this summer (Twitter link).

Betancourt, who turns 39 next week, is attempting a┬ácomeback from Tommy John surgery at a late stage in his career. Last August, when Betancourt decided to undergo the procedure, he acknowledged that it could be the end of the line but stated that he’d attempt to rehab and make a comeback. Of course, due to his injury, the Rockies declined a $4.25MM option to retain his services after the season ended.

Betancourt’s entire career to this point has been split between the Indians and the Rockies. He took over as Colorado’s closer in 2011 and saved 31 games for the Rox in 2012. Always an excellent setup man in Cleveland (with the exception of a fluke 2008 season), Betancourt stepped up his game with the Rockies and posted a 3.08 ERA with 10.5 K/9, 1.7 BB/9 and 57 saves in 236 1/3 innings with Colorado from 2009-13.

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