THURSDAY: Baker has an update: the Pirates find Betancourt too pricey. Baker is surprised by this, but it seems reasonable to me that they would not want to take on an additional $4MM+ for that kind of project.
MONDAY: According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the Pirates and Mariners have discussed swapping shortstops Jack Wilson and Yuniesky Betancourt. Let's break down the details.
- Wilson, 31, is hitting .254/.289/.310 in 77 plate appearances this year; he missed time with a sprained finger. He's owed another $5.59MM this year plus a $600K buyout for 2010, for a total of about $6.2MM. He has a limited no-trade clause that applies to six teams. Wilson approached the Bucs in March about a possible extension. John Dewan of The Fielding Bible rated him as the third-best defensive shortstop in the game.
- Betancourt, 27, is hitting .264/.290/.368 in 132 plate appearances this year. Earlier this month, manager Don Wakamatsu benched Betancourt to send him a message. In his book, Dewan rated Betancourt the fourth-worst defensive shortstop in baseball. Under his contract signed in April of 2007, Betancourt will earn $1.53MM more this year, $3MM in 2010, $4MM in 2011, and a $2MM buyout in 2012 for a total of about $10.5MM.
- Given the $4.3MM difference in guaranteed money, I can't see why the Pirates would entertain a deal like this. Betancourt would be more appealing if he was not locked up. Even then, he's a project.