The Tigers have acquired Wilson Betemit from the Royals for prospects Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star first reported that a trade involving Betemit was imminent (on Twitter). The Royals have confirmed the move in a press release.
The 29-year old Betemit was a sought after man this summer; the Brewers, Angels, and Marlins all expressed interest in acquiring him at various times. He has hit .281/.341/.409 with three homers in 226 plate appearances this year, though he lost playing time to Mike Moustakas in recent weeks. The Tigers have been focused on pitching in recent weeks, but this move gives them an upgrade over Brandon Inge at the hot corner. Inge is hitting just .177/.242/.242 this season.
Neither Cruz or Rodriguez ranked among Detroit's top 30 prospects in Baseball America's 2011 Prospect Handbook. Cruz, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, has a 3.11 ERA in 75 1/3 innings with the Tigers' Low Class-A affiliate this season. He's struck out 58 and walked 28 in ten starts and a dozen relief appearances. Rodriguez, a 20-year-old catcher, has hit .283/.325/.354 with one homer in 246 plate appearances for Detroit's High Class-A affiliate this season.