Friday, July 10, 2009

Whew. Royals Acquire Yuni Betancourt.

I mentioned Wednesday night that several other bloggers and I will be releasing a new publication on Monday, and it will center around the trade deadline. As part of that, we had a section where we talked about players the Twins might acquire, and I was responsible for writing about Yuniesky Betancourt.

Unfortunately, the more I research about him, the more worried I got that the Twins might actually trade for him. Word came down this morning that the Mariners had pulled him out of a Tacoma game just before game time, and then I got really worried. Today we found out that it was a different AL Central team, the Royals, who traded two minor league pitchers for Betancourt.

So my writeup is ruined - and I couldn't be more pleased. Here's what I wrote up, in case you're wondering:

Yuniesky Betancourt | SS | Seattle Mariners
Betancourt doesn’t really justify anything more than a tweet except for one thing – he just feels like the kind of guy the Twins would get. He’s athletic, but underachieving, and the local media/blogosphere might burst into blue flame if they acquired him, but the Twins would say their scouts see something else. Kinda like the Kielty/Stewart trade. So let’s spend 100 words on him.

He’s the Mariners shortstop, and a 27-year-old (as far as we know) Cuban refugee who was promoted because of his slick glove and contact-hitting ways. The previous Mariners administration made him a centerpiece of their future with a guaranteed contract that pays him through 2011, but never pays him more than $4 million per year.

He signed that deal in 2007 and the decline started in 2008. He’s never been one to draw many walks (though he doesn’t strike out much either) and he hasn’t reached double-digit home runs. But that was supposed to be secondary to his defensive prowess.

That prowess has now been absent for a year-and-a-half and counting. Last year his Ultimate Zone Rating was -12.6, meaning he gave up almost 13 runs more than the average shortstop. This year, he’s at -8.3, which puts him on pace to be even worse.

So there’s absolutely no good reason to acquire Betancourt, and the Mariners would likely be glad to get rid of him themselves. Which is why I can’t shake that feeling….


Bernard Aboba said...

You missed Yuni's lack of conditioning and poor approach at the plate, plus his propensity to collide with outfielders (e.g. Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierez), threatening their careers. Add that to his lack of coach-ability, and you have got an out-of-shape headcase likely to raise the blood pressure of the Kansas City fans for years to come.

John said...