Yuniesky Betancourt Rumors
Between the Mets' R.A. Dickey trade talks and the Nationals' signing of Dan Haren, much of today's major news has come out of the National League. Here are a few more updates from across the Senior Circuit....
- Although the Marlins have no intention of trading Giancarlo Stanton, that certainly hasn't stopped teams from calling to ask about him, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. "It would be easier to list who hasn't called," a source close to the Marlins told Knobler.
- With Angel Pagan locked up, the Giants have turned their attention to corner outfielders, and have spoken to Nick Swisher's reps, says Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (on Twitter). However, the team will likely target a more affordable option -- perhaps Ryan Ludwick or Scott Hairston.
- The Mets, in their search for veteran left-handers for the bullpen, have inquired on Manny Parra, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter).
- The Dodgers are shopping for a shortstop or third baseman to pair with Hanley Ramirez on the left side of the infield, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, adding that the team's approach at this point appears to involve pursuing an All-Star at every position.
- In addition to a center fielder, the Phillies also need a right fielder and a third baseman, though they likely won't be able to afford both, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. tells Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
- Yuniesky Betancourt is among the third base options being considered by the Cubs, writes Carrie Muskat at MLB.com.
The move comes nine days after the Royals designated Betancourt for assignment, meaning they were unable to trade him. If no team claims Betancourt while he's on release waivers, he'll receive his unconditional release.
Betancourt, 30, has posted a career line of .266/.290/.392 with 67 homers in 3,869 plate appearances. The eight-year veteran has played with the Mariners, Brewers and Royals (two stints).
The Royals have designated Yuniesky Betancourt for assignment, according to Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The move allows for the Royals to call up infielder Tony Abreu from Triple-A Omaha.
Betancourt rejoined the Royals this past offseason after being included in the Zack Greinke trade to the Brewers after the 2010 season. The infielder was hitting .232/.260/.408 in 56 games with Kansas City this year.
It's possible that tonight was the last start Francisco Liriano will make as a member of the Twins. Liriano entered with a 2.84 ERA with a 10.9 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 since May 30, but was shelled for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. Here are some links surrounding the division...
- After swinging a major trade to acquire Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante earlier today, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says his team is "set at this point," according to Jason Beck of MLB.com (on Twitter).
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that Jonathan Broxton, Jose Mijares, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Jeff Francoeur have all been made available by the Royals.
- Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune passes along a video interview with White Sox GM Kenny Williams stating, "There's no sense" in acquiring a marginal upgrade to his rotation. Williams implies that his club will only be interested in adding a front-line pitcher, and that he's willing to look at prospect deals to improve his club in the short-term. Williams is also optimistic that John Danks, currently on the DL, can return and improve his team's rotation.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports speculates that Carlos Quentin's recent extension could push teams into overpaying the Twins to acquire Josh Willingham (video link).
- Morosi also discusses the impact of the trade that sent Brett Myers to the White Sox.
5:22pm: Betancourt's base salary is for $2MM, and he could earn an additional $500K in incentives related to playing time, tweets Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star.
1:41pm: The Royals announced that they signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a one-year, Major League contract. The Royals' 40-man roster includes 39 players with the addition of Betancourt, who was traded to Milwaukee from Kansas City in last offseason's Zack Greinke trade.
“We have been looking for a utility infielder who could play short, third and second base and we feel Yuni is a great fit,” Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a statement. “He brings a right-handed bat with some power and is a guy we know fits in well in the clubhouse.”
Betancourt, 29, posted a .252/.271/.381 line as the Brewers' everyday shorstop in 2011. He posted a negative UZR/150 (-7.4) for the sixth time in as many seasons as a regular shortstop. The Royals clearly intend to use Betancourt at second base, where he has started nine MLB games and at third, where he has yet to play an inning in the Major Leagues. He'll back up Royals infielders Alcides Escobar, Johnny Giavotella and Mike Moustakas in 2012.
The Brewers are on the hook for a likely salary in excess of $11.5MM for reliever Francisco Rodriguez next year, after K-Rod accepted their arbitration offer. The latest on the team after GM Doug Melvin met with reporters:
- Melvin said he doesn't have to trade Rodriguez to clear payroll space, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Brewers feel good about the back end of the bullpen now, and Melvin noted that Rodriguez's added cost should be considered less the $3MM he would have had to spend to sign two compensatory draft picks. That estimate doesn't hold water if you assume the Brewers would have received, say, the Padres' second-round pick plus a supplemental choice. Slot for two picks of that nature would probably total $1.25MM.
- Asked about Aramis Ramirez, Melvin said, "Anybody that's still a free agent is a possibility."
- Melvin hopes to zero in on a shortstop early next week. Yuniesky Betancourt, Alex Gonzalez, and Rafael Furcal are the candidates, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
- Melvin gave some parameters to Takashi Saito's agent Nez Balelo, which didn't change post K-Rod. It's not an official offer, but Melvin expects Balelo to try to get more from another team. Six to eight teams have shown interest in Saito, Balelo told WEEI's Alex Speier yesterday.
Tuesday afternoon's NL Central items:
- Carlos Lee's limited no-trade clause supersedes his ten-and-five rights, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter). The Astros have reportedly been telling teams they'll eat half of Lee's salary in a trade.
- The Brewers have talked to Yuniesky Betancourt's agent about bringing the shortstop back, but haven't made an offer, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- In a piece for Baseball America, Haudricourt explains why Brewers GM Doug Melvin was baseball's top executive in 2011.
- Manager Dale Sveum says the Cubs haven't talked about bidding on Yu Darvish, tweets Yahoo's Steve Henson.
The Brewers stand to lose both Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez to free agency this winter, and GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel that he plans to talk to agents and look for bullpen help at the Winter Meetings next week (all Twitter links). Furthermore, the club is also looking to add infield help, though the only player they are actively trying to sign right now is Jerry Hairston Jr.
Jimmy Rollins, Alex Gonzalez, Rafael Furcal, and 2011 Brewer Yuniesky Betancourt are among the shortstops the club has checked in on. Melvin said he plans to meet with Betancourt's agent next week. Last week we heard that Milwaukee has already offered Hairston a one-year deal, but several other teams are interested as well. Melvin also confirmed that he does not have any offers out to free agent relievers at the moment.
10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Giants won't offer arbitration to Pat Burrell (B) or Cody Ross (B) according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Carlos Beltran (A) contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Dodgers declined to offer Hiroki Kuroda (B) arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Rod Barajas (B) already signed with the Pirates.
- The Pirates offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (B) while declining to offer Ryan Ludwick (B) and Chris Snyder (B) arbitration. Ryan Doumit (B) already signed with the Twins.
- The Phillies did not offer Roy Oswalt (A) or Brad Lidge (B) arbitration, according to the AP (via ESPN). The team announced that it offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez (B), Ryan Madson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), and Jimmy Rollins (A), according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs offered arbitration to Carlos Pena (B) and Aramis Ramirez (B) but not to Kerry Wood (B), according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals offered Edwin Jackson (B) and Albert Pujols (A) arbitration, but declined to make offers to Rafael Furcal (B) and Arthur Rhodes (B), according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That leaves Octavio Dotel (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary).
- The Mets offered Jose Reyes (A) arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- The Padres will offer arbitration to Heath Bell (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Aaron Harang (B), tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Brewers offered Prince Fielder (A) and Francisco Rodriguez (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) arbitration. They declined to offer Yuniesky Betancourt (B) arbitration. Takashi Saito (A), contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Braves did not offer arbitration to Alex Gonzalez (B), according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Teams with automatic decisions only:
- Reds: Francisco Cordero (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary), Ramon Hernandez (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary)
- Astros: Clint Barmes (B, already signed with Pirates)
- Rockies: Mark Ellis (B, already signed with Dodgers)