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The Phillies sign Yuniesky Betancourt to a minor league deal

Jan 28, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Yuniesky Betancourt AP

The Phillies have just announced that they’ve signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training. Likely because Ruben Amaro wants me to be happy.

Betancourt hit .228/.256/.400 with seven homers last season and over the course of his career he has been one of the most consistent out-creators in all of baseball. And his defense is poor, despite the fact that he occasionally makes a highlight reel play out of instinct and/or accident.

All of which shouldn’t be the worst thing ever seeing as though this is a minor league deal. Except that the Phillies have a history of giving veterans on minor league deals a decent amount of playing time once the season begins. Juan Pierre and Mike Fontenot each got a lot of playing time for Philly after signing minor league deals last year.

So pray for Jimmy Rollins‘ health, Phillies fans. Pray hard.

  1. ame123 - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Fredi Galvis is Jimmy Rollins’s backup Craig.

    • geoknows - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Yuni can play 2B too.

      • ame123 - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Umm, so can Fredi.

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Last I checked, Utley could play 2B, as well.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        UH, don’t you know that Utley has a foot in the grave and probably won’t be playing more than 40 games this year. The whole infield will be lucky to be alive by June 1st they are so brittle and old. Betincourt will be starting at SS by June 1st when Rollins, Utley and Howard are all on the DL and Young is benched for poor play.

      • petiepab - Jan 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Pierre and Fontenot played respectably well. Much better then he would show. Also the Phillies have also signed veterans to minor league contracts and not played them or cut them as well, so we can include that in their “history.”

  2. digbysellers - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Or maybe Freddy Galvis will take the backup job instead

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Just when I thought the Delmon Young signing would be the worst signing of the off-season……..

    • biasedhomer - Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      So you think signing a guy to a minor league deal is worse than say, the Rangers signing a guy who missed all of last season to his second Tommy John surgery? All the while, guaranteeing him $8M for 2 years?

  4. ddjesus - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    he’s so bad you have to root for him. YU BET!!!

  5. mattjg - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Craig, you could learn a thing or two from Ruben Amaro on trolling Phillies fans. This offseason’s BEST signing is probably a AAA pitcher known best-known for breaking Chase Utley’s hand. That’s some fine work, Rube, that’s some fine work.

  6. Tyree Studio - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Enjoy Phillies fans, enjoy.

  7. IdahoMariner - Jan 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    geeeeeeze. if he makes the team i actually, pre-emptively, feel sorry for phillies fans. he is excruciating to watch on your team.

  8. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    It deserves repeating – Freddy Galvis is the back up to Rollins

    • deepstblu - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      Freddy Galvis is the #2 shortstop in the organization and should be the starter if Rollins goes on the DL. This extremely mediocre signing does not change that. Whether Galvis should be sitting on the bench in Philly all year waiting for Rollins to get hurt is another matter. I’d rather see him get ABs every day in AAA in the hope that he can progress as a hitter. If that means seeing the second coming of Eric Bruntlett (or worse) out there when JR gets a minor owie, I’ll live with that.

  9. bobulated - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Young, Durbin and now Betencourt? Talk about some throw excrement at the wall and see what sticks signings. Not saying any of these guys even make the team or are major contributors but I can’t imagine Amaro trolling Phillie any harder unless he trades for Frenchy to patrol RF.

  10. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    P.S. Mike Fontenot had 97 AB’s for the Phillies. In what universe is that “a lot of playing time”?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Don’t ruin the narrative with facts, delaware…please.

    • deepstblu - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      It seemed like more. A lot more.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Honestly – I thought the number was going to be about 60 AB’s. I was suprised to look it up and see 97.

  11. paperlions - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    Rollins is playing in the WBC. Couldn’t this signing just be to have another SS around in spring training until Rollins returns?

    A number of teams are signing extra catchers to minor league deals because some of theirs are going to the WBC….same could be true for other positions.

  12. Utley's Hair - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Maybe this is some bizarre way for NinJr to make amends to KC for the Chiefs hiring Andy Reid?

  13. drunkenhooliganism - Jan 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Ruben Amaro is just exploiting the new market inefficiency: hoarding really crappy players. I don’t see how hoarding really crappy players is a good idea, but he sure acts like he’s smarter than the rest of the world.

    • jwbiii - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Or maybe he has developed an irrational hatred of Allentown. . .

  14. greymares - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    The only thing that matters for the Phillies is the health of Halladay if he’s healthy the Phills are in contention

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM


      The Phillies ae going to live and die by Doc, Utley and Howard. If they have stellar years, no one is going to talk about Ben Revere vs. Cody Ross. If those 3 have a tough time, 22 HR’s by Delman Young won’t get them out of the hole. Virtually every article written about the Phillies on HBT of late (pro and con) will not be what decides this season. It’s all about the health of those 3

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        PRO-Phightins posts on HBT? They’re just a way for Craig to lull Phans in to a phalse sense of security, before he strikes again in the guise of the Master Baiter.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        There was one…..I think it was a typo though

  15. kevinbnyc - Jan 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Everyone who is pointing out that there are 15 other people who could play Position X before Yuniesky: you’re really ruining Craig’s “The Phillies are old and terrible” narrative.

  16. snowbirdgothic - Jan 28, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    I believe this sums up Craig’s reaction nicely:

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