UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is now reporting that the O’s and Betemit have agreed to a two-year deal with an option for a third year. Exact terms aren’t yet available, but it’s a bit of a surprise to see him get a multi-year deal at this point of the offseason. And from a team that isn’t expected to contend, no less.
10:13 PM, Monday: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have signed Wilson Betemit to a one-year contract, pending a physical. No word on the salary yet.
Betemit earned $1 million last season while batting .285/.343/.452 with eight home runs, 46 RBI and a .795 OPS over 359 plate appearances between the Royals and Tigers. The 30-year-old switch-hitter has an .817 career OPS against right-handed pitching.
The Orioles had previously committed to using Mark Reynolds at third base and Chris Davis at first base this season, but Betemit offers some experience at both positions. Of course, he’s not regarded as a strong defender, so Buck Showalter could also use him at designated hitter.
This is happening, people.
Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.
Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.
Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.
Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.
It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.
I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.