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Rockies ink Street, Betancourt to multi-year deals

Jan 19, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

With the deadline to submit figures for arbitration looming, the Rockies have agreed to multi-year deals with arbitration-eligible relievers Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt.
According to’s Tracy Ringolsby, Betancourt will get $7.5 million over two years while Street’s deal is worth $22.5 million over three years with an option for 2013.
Colorado had previously declined a $5.4 million option on Betancourt for 2010, so $3.75 million per season represents a discount of sorts even if that’s still paying a premium for middle relief. Betancourt had a 2.73 ERA and 61/20 K/BB ratio in 56 innings split between Cleveland and Colorado last season, but struggled in 2008 and turns 35 years old soon.
Street likely would have been in line for around $7 million via arbitration and could have hit the open market following the season, so the Rockies essentially paid about $15 million for his first two seasons of free agency. That’s definitely pricey for a reliever, but Street is a 26-year-old with a 2.91 career ERA who saved 35 games with a 3.06 ERA, .194 opponents’ batting average, and 70/13 K/BB ratio during his first season in Colorado. He’s a legitimately elite reliever who’ll be just 29 when the contract ends.
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  1. Steve Braucksieker - Jan 19, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Next time I hear someone argue the Cardinals overpaid for Holliday, I will remind them the Rockies are paying Betancourt essentially 1/2 of what the Cardinals are paying Holliday. He plays everyday, every inning and has no history of injury. Betancourt when healthy, plays every other day for 1 inning. Who is getting their money’s worth?

  2. David - Jan 19, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Steve – how do you figure Betancourt makes half of what Holliday does? Don’t get me wrong, I think the Cards did good to lock up Holliday and I am jealous. Betancourt stands to make 3.75MM/year where Holliday makes 17MM/ year.

  3. Omega in Colorado - Jan 19, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Locking in Street is a great move, he is a proven producer for the Rockies and is still young.
    They should have jettisoned Betancourt about 2 seconds after the ’09 season ended. I hope he proves me wrong in 2010 however.

  4. Steve Braucksieker - Jan 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    OOPS! Thanks for the correction David, I didn’t see the 2 years @ 7.50, thought that was an awful lot for an erratic but talented set-up man. But while I am at it, I will defend the Cards deal a little further, in an area I have yet to see discussed. First of all 2 mil is backloaded, so Holliday is “only”, receiving 15 per year up front, which is what most analysts considered early on as about what he was expected to earn. The only gamble the Cards made was on longevity. I was not a big proponent of the Holliday signing, but the years, didn’t bother me, primarily because Holiday’s upside is he is a young and very fit 30 year old. Younger than Pujols, and Phat is a rock, but I believe he will show age before Holliday. I believe the longevity aspect of the deal is a good gamble. Whether the Cardinals would have been better off with an additional starter, a closer, a third-baseman and a left-hand hitting outfielder is still an argueable question.

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