> If you’re a Brewers fan, you can breath one big sigh of relief- Yuniesky Betancourt is officially not coming back next year.
> The inconsistent, both offensively and defensively, shortstop signed a one-year deal with the Royals today. It’s somewhat of a homecoming for Betancourt, who was traded from the Mariners to the Royals in 2009, and played from them for then until 2010. The Brewers acquired him in the Zack Greinke trade in December of 2010 (around this same time last year).
Betancourt never became very popular with the Brewers’ fan-base during 2011. In 2010, he hit .259 with 16 home runs and 78 RBIs with the Royals. Since the American League, in some ways, is tougher than the National League, and the fact that Miller Park is more hitter-friendly than Kauffman Stadium, people thought that Betancourt’s numbers with the Brewers would be better than they were with the Royals.
Instead, all of the main stats that I just listed- batting average, home runs, and RBIs- went down for him 2011. Betancourt hit .252 with 13 home runs and 68 RBIs. Aside from a good August and decent postseason, he didn’t produce very much.
All of that, and I haven’t even mentioned his defense yet, which was also awful. Betancourt had just a .965 fielding percentage. He made a few of those highlight reel plays, but screwed up the routine plays far too often.
Anyway, there was some speculation that, despite the fact the Brewers already signed Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop in 2012, Betancourt would return to the Brewers in a utility role. This closes the door on that, thank goodness.
> None of this is official, but there are a few Prince Fielder rumors swirling. The Mariners have reportedly offered him a deal, but both the length of the contract and the amount of money are unknown. But, since Seattle isn’t exactly the biggest market around, it probably isn’t all that much.
The Cubs have apparently been doing some “behind the scenes” work on Fielder. But when you put the terms “Cubs” and “behind the scenes” together, it doesn’t mean much. Although I heard a few weeks ago that a close friend of Fielder said that he would be “very interested” in going to Chicago. No idea why…
Lastly, the Blue Jays have been said by many to be a good fit. I don’t really see why, unless they plan on moving Adam Lind into a DH role. But, the Blue Jays made an aggressive bid on Yu Darvish (but were outbid by the Rangers), which shows that they aren’t afraid to spend money this offseason.
So those three teams- the Mariners, Cubs, and Blue Jays- seem to be good fits for Fielder. Of course, the Brewers are also a good fit. You know, if finances didn’t exist.
UPDATE: Never mind the Mariners rumors. GM Jack Zduriencik once again shot down the possibility of signing Fielder, saying that he didn’t know where the rumors were coming from.
The speculation of the Mariners possibly trying to sign Fielder came from the fact that Zduriencik was a draft scout for the Brewers at the time they drafted Fielder. While Zduriencik has said that he still admires Fielder’s work on the field even though he’s now with the Mariners, he’s shot down rumors various times already this offseason.
> And that’s about it. It’s still sort of early, so I’ll update later if anything else comes up. But for now, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.