Wilson Betemit Rumors
The Angels are interested in Aramis Ramirez and Wilson Betemit, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). However, Ramirez remains adamant that he will not accept a trade to any team, according to Rosenthal.
Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer, told Rosenthal that his client remains unwilling to accept any trade (Ramirez has ten and five rights). There's a chance that Ramirez would accept a deal in August, but the third baseman currently intends to finish his career in Chicago.
If traded, Ramirez would likely want his new club to drop his $16MM option for 2012 so that he can hit the open market after this season, Rosenthal reports. Ramirez's '12 option technically becomes guaranteed if he gets traded.
Acquiring Betemit won't necessarily be much easier. The Brewers, who are looking for help on the left side of the infield, have discussed the 29-year-old with the Royals.
Angels third basemen - mainly Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis - have combined for a .285/.356/.364 line this year. Their .356 on-base average ranks fourth in baseball, but their .364 slugging percentage is 18th in MLB. Ramirez and Betemit would offer more power and less on-base percentage than Los Angeles' current options.
Unsatisified with the production they're getting from third base, the Brewers have talked to the Royals about acquiring Wilson Betemit according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Kansas City GM Dayton Moore is willing to move Betemit in the right deal according to the FOX scribes.
Casey McGehee hit 23 homers with a .801 OPS last season, but he's hit just .221/.276/.311 with five homers in 362 plate appearances this year. Betemit, 29, has a .285/.345/.415 batting line in 223 plate appearances this season, but he's lost playing time to Mike Moustakas of late. He is making just $1MM this year and can be a free agent after the season. Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at Betemit as a trade candidate back in May.
ESPN's Buster Olney outlined plans for National League teams heading into the trade deadline yesterday, and today he follows up with the American League in an Insider-only column that comes highly recommended. Here's a brief recap...
- The Mark Ellis trade could just be the first domino that falls for the Athletics. Other veterans like Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, and Grant Balfour could follow him out the door.
- The Twins aren't as willing to trade now as they were a few weeks ago, and the big question they have to ask themselves is if eating a chunk of the $5.5MM left on Michael Cuddyer's contract is worth it to trade him.
- We've heard this before, but B.J. Upton and Kyle Farnsworth of the Rays figure to draw interest.
- The Red Sox and Angels don't have a lot of financial flexiblity and are more likely to target smaller pieces.
- Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera, and Wilson Betemit are all affordable and reasonably productive, but Olney notes that the Royals might want to keep some veterans around so the youngsters don't get pounded.
- The Indians and Mariners will not blow up their rebuild processes despite their surprising runs at contention. Erik Bedard's injury took away Seattle's best chip.
- Poor seasons from Alex Rios and Adam Dunn make it difficult for the White Sox to do anything. They need those two to get back on track more than anything.
- The Yankees are convinced their internal pitching options are better than what's available on the market right now. A Rafael Soriano setback would put them in the reliever market.
- It's all about right-handed relief pitching for the Rangers, who will have plenty of options to choose from. The Blue Jays have lots of bullpen help to deal.
- The Tigers are asking around about pitching, specifically left-handers.
- The Orioles are having an internal debate about whether or not to trade Jeremy Guthrie, but they are expected to at least listen to offers.
Wandy Rodriguez looked sharp in his return from the disabled list tonight. The Astros left-hander allowed four walks and two hits over six shutout innings as Houston notched a 8-3 win over Atlanta. You'll be reading a lot about Rodriguez at MLBTR this summer since, with so few difference-making pitchers on the market, Rodriguez could arguably be the top arm available at the trade deadline.
- Magglio Ordonez could be on the market very soon, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Ordonez is a defensive liability in the outfield the Tigers can't put him at DH since that could cost Victor Martinez or Alex Avila at-bats. Ordonez is still owed $5.8MM this season and he has a no-trade clause, so Morosi figures Detroit "would probably need to swap one burdensome contract for another" to move the veteran slugger. The Yankees, Mariners and Angels are listed as contenders who could use DH help.
- Wilson Betemit is drawing attention from several scouts, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. Betemit is hitting .289/.348/.411 for the Royals this season but lost his starting third base job to Mike Moustakas. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith profiled Betemit's trade candidacy last month and noted that at a 2011 salary of just $1MM, Betemit is bargain for any club needing third base help.
- The Royals have signed five more of their draft picks, with seventh-rounder Kellen Moen the highest pick yet to sign with the club this year.
- As if the Dodgers didn't have enough financial problems, the club owes Manny Ramirez a deferred payment of $8.33MM by June 30, reports Molly Knight of ESPN The Magazine. Ramirez is owed a total of $25MM in deferred money from the Dodgers, which will be split up into three equal payments this year, next year and in 2013.
- The Indians announced the signings of three picks from the 2011 draft. Outfielder Bryson Myles (sixth round) was the highest-picked of these signings.
The latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports...
- The Marlins are "among the teams tracking" Royals third baseman Wilson Betemit. The 29-year-old is a free agent after the season and has hit .303/.378/.488 in 492 plate appearances in his Royals career. Betemit is earning only $1MM, so any team could fit him in. He has experience all around the infield and has dabbled at the outfield corners as well. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith discussed his trade candidacy earlier this month.
- "There is not a lot of pitching to be had. It would be tough to get anyone if we do need someone," remarked Reds GM Walt Jocketty to Rosenthal. The Reds' rotation has been surprisingly lousy this year, but Travis Wood, Bronson Arroyo, and Mike Leake are not as bad as their cumulative 5.33 ERA suggests.
- Orlando Cabrera's impact is "very difficult to quantify," Indians GM Chris Antonetti tells Rosenthal. You have to wonder if O-Cab could provide the same intangibles off the bench, allowing the Tribe to start Cord Phelps or Jason Kipnis at second base.
Here's the weekly 'Full Count' video from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com...
- Three different scouts have told Rosenthal that the Phillies have asked the Astros about Hunter Pence. A deal seems unlikely for a number of reasons -- Pence's salary (he's owed roughly $5MM more this season), the Phillies' reluctance to move top prospects in a deal, and the fact that Jim Crane wouldn't want to begin his ownership of the Astros by dealing their best player.
- Ruben Amaro tells Rosenthal that Phillies ownership hasn't yet given him direction about what the GM can or can't do at the deadline. Amaro says the Phillies could find some payroll space without having to deal Joe Blanton, which might be impossible anyway given Blanton's struggles, high salary and the fact that Blanton is currently on the DL.
- The Angels are looking to acquire a corner infielder with some pop. Rosenthal suggests Russell Branyan, just released by Arizona, could be signed to share time at first base with Mark Trumbo. Wilson Betemit could be acquired to play third, since the Royals will shop Betemit to clear space for Mike Moustakas.
- Ian Stewart is another possible target for the Halos, but the Rockies aren't likely to deal him since they don't have any other answers at third base. The Rockies are also "relucant to sell low" on the struggling Stewart; Rosenthal says the Pirates recently asked about Stewart but were "simply bottom-feeding" rather than making a serious offer.
- The Dodgers were one of C.C. Sabathia's "top choices" when he was a free agent after the 2008 season, and he would "love to have the Dodgers as leverage" when he (as expected) opts out of his contract with the Yankees this winter. As Rosenthal says, impending free agents hope the Dodgers solve their ownership problems quickly so the team can resume its status as a big-market destination.
- Jose Reyes "is going to make a killing" in free agency this winter and Jimmy Rollins should also do well given the lack of quality shortstops around the league, Rosenthal predicts. The Brewers, Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Athletics are just a few of the teams that could be in the market for a shortstop in the offseason. The Giants and A's may be a particular fit for Rollins, an Oakland native.
- The Phillies, of course, could re-sign Rollins themselves. Rosenthal notes it would be difficult for the Phils to part with their long-time shortstop, particularly if the club makes another deep postseason run.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive in...
- Ned Colletti is under contract as Dodgers GM through 2012, but he has an out-clause after that. MLB is unlikely to stand in the way if another team asks to interview him before then though.
- The consensus is that the Cubs need to show some progress if GM Jim Hendry is going to keep his job beyond this season. The team's 14-17 start already has some in the game speculating about possible successors, which might include Colletti, former Diamondbacks GM and current Padres executive Josh Byrnes, and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn. If the ChiSox are worried about losing Hahn, Rosenthal says they could promote him to GM and promote Kenny Williams to club president.
- Most expect the White Sox to "snap out of it," but if not, they could be a team to watch as the trade deadline approaches. One GM said Williams is not the type to "sit there in no man's land," so expect some rumblings about free agents to be Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson. Some believe Buehrle would only accept a trade to the Cardinals though.
- Their most intriguing chips are John Danks and Carlos Quentin, who are under team control as arbitration-eligible players in 2012. Danks could bring a significant return.
- The Royals could be quite busy if they remain in contention. The Zack Greinke trade and Gil Meche's retirement freed up significant cash, and the team could be both buyers and sellers. Wilson Betemit is expendable because of top prospect Mike Moustakas, possibly to the Marlins, and they could look to deal either Jeff Francoeur or Melky Cabrera. One thing they will need in return: bullpen reinforcements. The Kansas City bullpen is throwing a ton of innings.
Inevitably, some teams will be interested in third base help this summer. The Giants, Cardinals and Marlins have question marks at the hot corner now and other teams will presumably be looking for help at third this June, July and August. It's just a question of which teams are interested and which players are available.
As executives look around the league for alternatives to Michael Young ($45MM remaining on his contract) and Chone Figgins ($15.5MM remaining on his contract), their eyes may settle on a player who has a .305/.381/.504 line since the beginning of the 2010 season and earns just $1MM in 2011: Wilson Betemit of the Kansas City Royals.
A former top prospect turned journeyman, the 29-year-old Betemit is already playing for his fifth MLB team. He hit .297/.378/.511 with 13 homers in 315 plate appearances last year and has followed that up with a .333/.391/.480 showing so far in 2011. Betemit's numbers are flashy if not sustainable (.361 BABIP in '10, .429 BABIP in '11) and the available alternatives don't figure to be overwhelming.
Of course Royals GM Dayton Moore would have to have interest in trading Betemit for anything to happen. Now 15-13, the Royals are in second place in the AL Central behind only the surprising Cleveland Indians. If they continue winning more games than they lose, the Royals may not be interested in selling at all.
But if top third base prospect Mike Moustakas picks up the pace in Triple-A (his OPS now sits at .697) the Royals could decide to make Betemit available and, after they make a trade, promote Moustakas. Betemit is a free agent after 2011 and, unlike Moustakas, he isn't a long-term solution for K.C. Perhaps the Royals could flip him for a player who will contribute to their next great team.
Betemit's hot hitting, salary and versatility (he has MLB experience at short, first, second, left and right) suggest other teams are likely to call Moore later this summer. The Royals could stay hot, or Moustakas could stay cold, but it won't surprise many people if Betemit becomes trade bait within a few months.
Photo courtesy Icon SMI.
The Royals have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with infielder Wilson Betemit and catcher Brayan Pena, reports Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Betemit will make $1MM next season, while Pena will earn $660K. The Royals avoid going to arbitration with both players.
Betemit signed a minor league deal with Kansas City last winter and ended up delivering a career-best season in 2010. He hit .297/.378/.511 in 315 plate appearances with the Royals and received regular playing time at third base following Alberto Callaspo's trade to the Angels. Betemit just turned 29 last month and is a nice bargain at that price for K.C. given his versatile infield glove and his switch-hitting bat.
Pena is expected to take on at least a platoon role behind the plate next season. He has a .703 OPS in 357 plate appearances over his two years in Kansas City.
- The Padres will wait until Saturday to activate Chris Young from the disabled list, at which point they'll need to remove someone from the 40-man roster according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link).
- Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times tweets that Joe Torre has informed his wife and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti about what he plans to do next season, but he will not make his decision public just yet.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams chatted with Joe Posnanski about football and the challenges of being in second place. Check it out at SI.com.
- Brian Bass cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple A, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). The Pirates designated Bass for assignment earlier in the week.
- Andre Ethier told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that it doesn't even make sense to comment on the rumor that he'd like to play in Boston.
- Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs argues that the Royals should offer Wilson Betemit a contract this offseason, since he can be something of a "bridge between the present and the future."
- Indians GM Mark Shapiro told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he and assistant GM Chris Antonetti met with friend and former colleague Josh Byrnes. The former D'Backs GM "would make anybody better," including the Indians, Shapiro said.