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Phillies release infielder Yuniesky Betancourt

Mar 24, 2013, 4:41 PM EDT

betancourt getty Getty Images’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have cut ties with Yuniesky Betancourt.

Betancourt was signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on January 28 by the Philadelphia front office. He had a .447/.451/.574 slash line in 51 Grapefruit League plate appearances as of Sunday morning, but the Phillies have decided not to bring him north and the veteran wouldn’t have accepted an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Betancourt has reportedly drawn some interest from the Cardinals, who are planning to start Pete Kozma at shortstop. Whether it’s St. Louis or somewhere else, Yuni shouldn’t be out of work long.

The 31-year-old hit .228/.256/.400 with seven home runs in 57 games last season with the Royals.

  1. drpaisley - Mar 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Nobody tell Dayton Moore. Please, I’m begging you!

  2. garryfish - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Welcome to the Bronx!

    • proudlycanadian - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      He would look good in a Yankee uniform. Not so sure that he would play well in a Yankee uniform.

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        ….just like Vernon Wells.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

        Okay, you all can FOAD. Besides, Yanks already have the evolutionary Betancourt, his name is Eduardo Nunez.

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2013 at 7:27 PM


        I don’t think I have ever seen “FOAD” before, that 12 kinds of awesome. I’m sorry for your pain, but you can see how fans of other teams could find amusement/joy from the Yankees possibly acquiring Wells/Betancourt….can’t you?

      • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        Sure I can see it. Can’t you see why I want to beat you all over the head with a flaming 2″x4″?

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:28 PM


      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        …but really, I think your anger is mis-placed. You should be swinging that flaming 2X4 at Yankee FO people responsible for getting Wells….if it is any consolation (I know, it isn’t), it looks like the Yankees are only paying $13M of the $42M remaining on Wells’ deal.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        A fine honorable discussion gentlemen, I am enjoying it.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        Marquess of Queesbury rules

      • historiophiliac - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        Dammit! Edit function!

      • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        Wait, WHAT?! They’re paying $13 million for this sub-replacement piece of trash? They wouldn’t re-sign Martin for just a little bit more, subjecting us to the Cervelli/Stewart horror show, because of the god-damned luxury tax threshold. They wouldn’t even re-sign Chavez to an incredibly reasonable one-year deal because they didn’t want to spend any money. Those were pieces they needed, and they instead decided to waste valuable money against the 2014 tax number for five weeks of a glorified version of Melky Mesa. I want the head of whoever made this call. Literally. Like, and actual public execution in the middle of 161st Street. I put up with all of their dithering this offseason because I agreed that re-setting the luxury tax rate was a reasonable goal, and then they go and blow $13 million on Vernon fucking Wells? Fuck this team.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Vernon Well 111 is not a piece of trash. He is a three time All Star and has won a Gold Glove 3 times. He is a gentleman, a husband, a father and contributes a significant part of his salary to charity. His father, Vernon Wells 11, is a talented painter who specializes in baseball paintings that have been commissioned by baseball players and executives.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        I want you all to know how much effort it took not to subject you to reading that wall of text in all caps and with about eighteen times as many exclamation points.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        When it comes to his on-field skills relative to other baseball players in 2013, he’s a piece of trash. Right now I could give a flying rat’s ass how good he was eight years ago or how nice a guy he is off the field.

      • proudlycanadian - Mar 24, 2013 at 9:34 PM


  3. vpisteve99 - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Seems like Yuri signing was treated on this site like a huge miscalculation by inept management. Given his spring and still released, appears to have been low risk depth signing. If a team signs him to ml contract, I hope to see as much criticism as Phillies received for giving him minor league deal.

    • paperlions - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      Let me ask you: If this ST performance didn’t get him a roster spot, why do you think the Phillies signed him in the first place?

      • ame123 - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        Easy answers.

        First, Rollins missed most of ST by playing in the WBC. The only other regular SS on the roster was Galvis. You need at least 2 players on your roster that can play SS, even in ST.

        Secondly, if Yuni stunk, he’d accept a AAA assignment, and you could do worse than Yuni in AAA.

        Finally, he’d be a player with ML experience in case Galvis or Rollins got injured, without a need to spend talent to acquire another backup capable of playing SS.

        Enough reasons?

      • paperlions - Mar 24, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        Yep, those are exactly the reasons….but don’t tell evanwins that, he’ll think you’re stupid.

        He’s a marginal MLB player (i.e. replacement-level) that was signed for organizational depth, and he was a ST need with Rollins gone….so why not take a look at him.

      • spudchukar - Mar 24, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I still don’t understand the Phillies. They have plenty of youngsters that could occupy ST infield positions. Unless they decided he was an even worse defender than they thought, which is hard to imagine since he has always sucked, his offensive numbers make you scratch your head. Not releasing him, just why ever sign him?

      • evanwins - Mar 25, 2013 at 1:34 AM

        Sorry ame123 but I believe you are incorrect. He was brought in as insurance for poor performance by Galvis and Frandsen. IF they would have had bad springs they would have kept Yuni. They dfdn’t, they had very good springs and they now realize they can rely on them. Galvis was coming off a broken back injury and a suspension and Frandsen could have been a fluke (still may be).

        They saw those 2 play enough quality ball that they decided they didn’t need said insurance.

        This is even more obvious by the fact that Yuni really couldn’t have done better this spring and still got cut. Hence, he was not brought in so much to gauge HIS performance but rather THEIR performance.

        And I don’t think you’re stupid. Teams dont sign players to fill in for spring training to cover WBC losses, there’e literally so much energy that goes into a signing a useless player it would be counter-productive; they would just tell the player that they can’t go or use one of the many players they have in their system. And The Phils signed Betancourt in January, well before Rollins decided to play in the WBC.

      • Francisco (FC) - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Actually none of the reasons given are mutually exclusive. They all fit pretty well.

    • mkd - Mar 24, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Anyone who signs Yuniesky Betancourt to any contract for any reason deserves to be criticized.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 25, 2013 at 5:56 AM

        Wrong, he was signed as a human shield for the young middle infield prospects who: 1) aren’t ready to fill in for Jimmy Rollins while he’s out playing for his country in the WBC, and 2) need to be playing every day, not sitting on the bench behind Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen.

  4. vpisteve99 - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    I think they signed him in case they had infield injuries or Galvis bombed. They do not have any ml ready inf prospects.

    • ame123 - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Also Rollins spent 3 weeks playing in the WBC.

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Mar 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Yuni’s bat wont hold up like this over a full season at even a .300 BA and his fielding is terrible. All this spring has done, which is good, is he’ll be on a MLB roster to start the season and not triple A.

  6. chaseutley - Mar 24, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Thanks for helping us win a few fake games and good luck.

  7. Old Gator - Mar 24, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    I was out tonight listening to the legendary Spider John Koerner at the Luna Star Cafe in North Macondo, being ministered to by the lissome Brie – an ideal evening – and I come home to this. The Wells fiasco I already knew about. Yuniesky Betancourt might even be headed for the Feesh – he can’t cost much, and with Scrooge McLoria planning to invade that large island which shall remain nameless where all of our horrible drivers come from in a desperate attempt to stockpile ballplayers from there before the imposition of the international draft, he’s another useful wad of cannon fodder.

  8. mscxvd - Mar 25, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    god i hope the cards resist the urge to sign him!

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