Wilson Betemit Rumors

Rays To Sign Wilson Betemit

The Rays have agreed to sign third baseman Wilson Betemit to a minor league deal, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). The 32-year-old Dominican missed most of last season with a knee injury.

In his last full MLB campaign, 2012, Betemit posted a .261/.322/.422 triple-slash in 376 plate appearances for the Orioles. The switch-hitter has done most of his damage from the left side of the plate, where he has a career .819 OPS that dwarfs his .636 mark when swinging right-handed. That split was even more pronounced in 2012 (.850 OPS as a lefty and .405 as a righty). Betemit's best season came in 2010 with the Royals, when he slashed .297/.378/.511 in 315 plate appearances for the Royals.

As has been the case for most of his career, Betemit saw most of his action at the hot corner. He has also seen time at first, DH, and even the outfield in recent seasons. Defensive metrics have not looked kindly upon Betemit's glovework in the infield.


NL East Links: Marlins, Amaro, Betemit

The Nationals' acquisitions of Doug Fister, Nate McLouth and Jerry Blevins may be enough to make them the NL East favorites for 2014, MASNsports.com's Dan Kolko opines.  Kolko feels the Marlins and Mets are still rebuilding, the Phillies lack depth and the Braves have been weakened by the losses of Brian McCann and Tim Hudson, opening the door for Washington reclaim the NL East crown after their disappointing 2013 campaign.

Here's some more from around the division…

  • The Marlins are still looking for a veteran reliever to add experience to their bullpen, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes.
  • Ruben Amaro Jr. sees a lot of risk in the free agent pitching market, the Phillies GM told reporters (including Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com). "With the way the market is set up right now, I’m not real comfortable with going the extra mile for some of the guys that are still out there still that may improve us a little bit, but in the long run may be detrimental to us," he said.  Amaro's statement likely includes top pitchers such as Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ervin Santana.
  • The Braves and Indians have interest in Wilson Betemit, CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff reports (Twitter link).  The Marlins were also linked to Betemit earlier this week but their signing of Casey McGehee probably ended that interest.

MLBTR's Zach Links contributed to this post


East Notes: Yankees, Barney, Marlins, McGehee

The latest from the AL East..

  • The Yankees may have interest in Darwin Barney of the Cubs, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com.  The two sides have discussed the second baseman in the past and talks have been renewed in the wake of Omar Infante's agreement with the Royals.  Barney had a down year in 2013, posting a .208/.266/.303 line in 501 plate appearances.
  • Meanwhile, the Marlins are looking for a third baseman and are intrigued by free agent Casey McGehee, who played in Japan this year and led his team to a championship, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.  Back in October, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported that McGehee was seeking a return to MLB.  The 31-year-old hit .289/.371/.512 with 27 home runs in his first season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.  Wilson Betemit, who lost 2013 to injuries, has also been discussed as an option.  Miami wants a third baseman with versatility, and McGehee and Betemit both fit the bill. 
  • Despite a little talk about other teams interest in Brian Roberts, he hasn’t been mentioned very often by the Orioles in the last few weeks, writes Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
  • Rays infielder Tim Beckham, the top pick in the 2008 draft, will miss a good chunk of the 2014 season after suffering an ACL tear, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  He would have been a long shot to make the Opening Day roster but he likely would have seen action if Tampa Bay needed depth or had an injury to a middle infielder.


Orioles Release Wilson Betemit

SEPT. 24: The Orioles officially announced that Betemit has been released.

SEPT. 16: The Orioles have designated Wilson Betemit for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Henry Urrutia, who is returning from the restricted list, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Betemit, 31, missed the majority of the 2013 season with a knee injury and has seen very little action since returning to the club in late August. He's gone hitless in 10 plate appearances this season for the O's. However, in 2012, the switch-hitter slashed a solid .261/.322/.422 with 12 homers in 376 plate appearances. Thos numbers line up nicely with his career batting line of .267/.332/.442.

Betemit, originally signed by the Braves out of the Dominican Repupblic, has spent most of his career at third base but has seen time at all four infield positions and both corner outfield spots. That type of versatility, along with his switch-hitting capabilities, have made it relatively easy for him to find work over the course of his career.


AL East Links: Anthopoulos, Betemit, Rays, Bard

It was on this day in 1914 that Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run.  Playing for the Providence Grays of the International League, Ruth went yard during a road game in Toronto, an occasion marked by a historical plaque at Hanlan's Point.  This was the only homer the Bambino would ever hit in the minors, as he spent the entire 1915 season with the Red Sox and never again visited the farm during his legendary career. 

Here are some notes from around the AL East…

  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos' job isn't in jeopardy, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes as part of a reader mailbag.  Anthopoulos "appears to have the full backing" of upper management and should continue to do so for at least the next couple of seasons, though obviously the Jays will be expected to contend at some point.  Earlier today, Anthopoulos discussed a number of topics in an interview on Sportsnet 590 radio.
  • Also from Chisholm, he predicts that if the Blue Jays don't extend a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and he hits the open market, Johnson will likely sign a one-year contract with an NL team to try and re-establish his value for the 2015 free agent market.
  • Wilson Betemit's time with the Orioles is probably coming to an end, as Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes that the O's "likely won't pick up" the $3.2MM option on his contract for 2014.  Betemit has missed almost all of the season recovering from March knee surgery and the team already seems to have moved on, as Betemit has only nine plate appearances over five games since returning from the DL.
  • St. Petersburg mayor Bill Foster criticized MLB in a memo updating his city council about the Rays' stadium issue, Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times reports.  Also in the piece, Puente notes that the Rays' ongoing search for a new ballpark could be an issue for Foster in November's mayoral election.
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer's history with Daniel Bard made it no surprise that the Cubs would acquire the struggling right-hander on a waiver claim from the Red Sox, manager John Farrell said.  Farrell told reporters, including MLB.com's Jason Mastrodonato, that his team didn't have the time or roster space to nurture Bard back to form but he thinks Bard can do it.  "I guess the most important thing is that we wish him well. We hope he gets back on track. There's still a good pitcher in there once he gets back on track," Farrell said.
  • From earlier today around the AL East, the Astros claimed Eric Thames off waivers from the Orioles, the Nationals claimed Mauro Gomez off waivers from the Blue Jays and the Red Sox aren't sure if they'll be willing to re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury if it will cost much beyond $100MM.

Orioles Looking For DH, Lukewarm On Morneau

2:00 PM: Manager Buck Showalter told reporters, including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, the Orioles are also considering internal options naming Wilson Betemit (on a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie) as a possibility. "You want to make sure the answer's not in your own backyard, something you're already paying for," Showalter said. "We don't have to trade Bowie anybody for Betemit, so we want to make sure with Wilson."

8:56 AM: The Orioles continue to look for a DH-type addition to their lineup and plan to make multiple waiver claims in order to facilitate a deal, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  However, the club's interest in Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is lukewarm.

The O's were linked to Morneau for several weeks leading up to the July 31st non-waiver deadline but the veteran wound up staying put with his sizable salary serving as a roadblock to a possible deal.  The Twins got Morneau through waivers last week, but it doesn't look like Baltimore will renew their interest in the 32-year-old, who is owed roughly $3.5MM between now and the end of the season.  

Baltimore was also rumored to be interested in a reunion with Mark Reynolds after he was cut loose by the Indians, but the rival Yankees beat them to the punch.  

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


2014 Vesting Options Update

As we turn to August, here's a look at the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season..

  • Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.  The Nats were relying on Suzuki during the first half of the season when Wilson Ramos was sidelined, but Ramos returned to action on July 4th, sliding Suzuki back down the depth chart.  The 29-year-old is 45 starts shy of the needed mark with 52 games remaining, so Suzuki's chances aren't too strong.  if/when the option doesn't vest, it'll become a club option worth $8.5MM with a modest $650K buyout.
  • Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. Carroll has 185 PAs in 53 games this season.  The veteran has had more than his needed total in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years, but he'll have his work cut out for him in 2013.
  • Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on March 26th and he'll begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday.  Needless to say, his option won't vest.
  • Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances.  Berkman has 282 plate appearances to his credit and the good news is that despite whispers that he might call it quits after his latest hip troubles, he pledges to return this season.  Unfortunately for him, his rehab assignment isn't scheduled to get underway until the end of this week and 550 sounds like a longshot.
  • Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).  This was a longshot to begin with, but shoulder surgery earlier this season makes this one impossible.
  • Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season.  After logging 21 and 1/3 innings in 2013, Myers was sidelined with tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow and has yet to return.  When he does come back, it's possible that the Tribe will move him to the bullpen.
  • Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has racked up 111 and 1/3 innings through 21 starts this season.  Zito probably won't get to lock in his sizable 2014 salary.
  • Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.

It's also worth noting that Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014, but it can vest at any of three levels – $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM – based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury.  It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however.  The left-hander made his season debut on May 11th and has a 2.02 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 through 16 starts this season.


2014 Vesting Options Update

As we enter July, let's check on the players who are hoping to lock in their options for the 2014 season..

  • Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.  The Nats planned to have Suzuki split time at catcher with Wilson Ramos, but Suzuki has started 59 games (counting tonight's game against the Brewers) behind the plate thanks to Ramos' hamstring troubles.  Ramos is currently rehabbing in the minors, however, and he could be back in action for the club on Thursday, according to the latest update from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.  Suzuki is slashing just .226/.286/.332, so it stands to reason that Ramos will see the lion's share of starts if he stays healthy.  If Suzuki doesn't reach 113 starts, the Nats will have an $8.5MM club option with a $650K buyout. 
  • Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances.  The veteran has had more than his needed total in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years but has just 146 PAs so far.  
  • Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on March 26th and just resumed baseball activities late last week.  Couple that with Manny Machado holding down third base and it's hard to see Betemit's option vesting.
  • Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman is has 268 plate appearances through 64 games this season.  Berkman scared the baseball world when he took a tumble down the stairs of the team plane and tweaked his troublesome right knee, but the injury is said to be minor and shouldn't cost him serious time.  In 2011, his last full season, the slugger racked up 587 PAs.
  • Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).  This was a longshot anyway, but shoulder surgery in May makes this an impossibility.
  • Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season.  After logging 21 and 1/3 innings in 2013, Myers was sidelined with tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow and is still working towards his return.  When he does come back, the Tribe will move him to the bullpen.   
  • Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has 91 and 1/3 innings to his credit through 16 starts this season.  He'll still need some things to go in his favor, but so far his chances of locking up 2014 are still alive.
  • Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.

Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014, but it can vest at any of three levels – $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM – based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of an injury to his non-throwing arm.  However, it's not known how many days he has to avoid missing time due to his right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option.  Liriano returned to action on May 11th and has looked strong in ten starts.  The left-hander has a 2.23 ERA on the year with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.


2014 Vesting Options Update

With two months of baseball in the books, here's a look at the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season..

  • Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.  Suzuki was slated to split time behind the plate with Wilson Ramos this season, but Ramos' hamstring has forced the club to give the veteran catcher 39 starts thus far (counting tonight's game).  The most recent update on Ramos, courtesy of the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, says that he'll be sidelined until around July 1st.  If Ramos heals up and takes starts away from Suzuki, it will be a club option worth $8.5MM with a modest $650K buyout.
  • Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. Carroll has 105 PAs in 27 games this season.  The veteran has had more than his needed total in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years.
  • Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on March 26th and a late May update (from Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) indicates that he still hasn't been cleared for baseball activities.  
  • Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman has 199 plate appearances to his credit and is on pace to lock in his 2014 option with ease.  In 2011, his last full season, the slugger racked up 587 PAs.
  • Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).  This was a longshot to begin with, but shoulder surgery earlier this month makes this one impossible.
  • Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season.  After logging 21 and 1/3 innings in 2013, Myers was sidelined with tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow and has yet to return.  When he does come back, it's possible that the Tribe will move him to the bullpen.
  • Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has racked up 62 and 2/3 innings through eleven starts this season.  It's far from a lock, but as it stands the veteran still has a chance at securing his 2014 salary.  His numbers are strong as he has a 3.88 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.

It's also worth noting that Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014, but it can vest at any of three levels – $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM – based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury.  It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however.  The left-hander made his season debut on May 11th.


2014 Vesting Options Update

As we close in on the month of May, let's check in on the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season…

  • Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.  Prior to Opening Day, the Nats announced that Suzuki would be in a timeshare with Wilson Ramos behind the plate.  However, Ramos' hamstring has led to Suzuki starting 16 of the club's 23 games so far in 2013. Ramos is scheduled to rejoin the club on Monday, but if he suffers another setback, Suzuki could have a realistic shot at triggering his '14 option.
  • Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances.  Carroll has surpassed that mark in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years, but he has just 18 PAs as April comes to a close.
  • Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013).  Betemit suffered a PCL tear during the last week of Spring Training, keeping him out of action until at least mid-May.  When he returns, he figures to see less action than he did last year thanks to Manny Machado
  • Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances.  So far, Berkman has 19 games under his belt with 80 plate appearances.  He'll be within reach as long as he stays healthy.  In 2011, his last full season, Berkman racked up 587 PAs for the Cardinals.
  • Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).  So far, Halladay has logged 28 and 1/3 innings through five April starts but the 259 mark remains a longshot.  However, it's worth nothing that Halladay has come close to that figure twice in the last six years (2008, 246 IP; 2010, 250.2 IP) and surpassed it once in his career (2003, 266 IP).
  • Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season.  Myers is expected to miss most of May due to tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow.  So far, the right-hander has 21 and 1/3 innings to his credit in 2013.
  • Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched.  Zito has 23 and 2/3 innings so far through the month of April and will make his fifth start of the year tonight against the Padres.
  • Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.

It's also worth noting that Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014 with the Pirates, but it can vest at any of three levels, $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM, based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury.  It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however.  Liriano has yet to take the hill in 2013, but he is expected to make his big league debut on May 10th vs. the Mets.