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.
Tigers first baseman/DH Miguel Cabrera is being sued by a woman from Orlando, Florida who claims that he “unilaterally” reduced the amount of his monthly child support payments, Tony Paul of The Detroit News reports. Cabrera, who has three children with his wife Rosangel, also had two children with Belkies Mariela Rodriguez in 2013 and 2015.
Cabrera pays more than $6,200 per month in child support and helped Rodriguez purchase a nearly $1 million house. Rodriguez’s attorney calls Cabrera’s monthly payments “inadequate” because her children don’t quite have the same standard of living as Cabrera’s three children with Rosangel. Cabrera’s legal team accused Rodriguez of “embarking on a mission to extort additional moneys to be used for her benefit under the guise of child support.”
Cabrera, 34, signed an eight-year, $248 million contract extension with the Tigers in March 2014, which officially began in 2016. He made $22 million in 2014-15, $28 million in 2016-17, and will earn $30 million from 2018-21 and $32 million in 2022-23.
Along with reduced child support payments, Rodriguez alleges Cabrera left her “high and dry” when it came to monthly expenses with the house he helped her purchase.
Cabrera has requested that the judge recuse herself from his case, as her husband has a title with Rodriguez’s lawyers’ law firm following a merger. He is scheduled to be questioned under oath during a videotaped deposition on Thursday in Orlando. Rodriguez is scheduled for her deposition on Friday.
Cabrera is not the only player to find himself embroiled in such a case. Bartolo Colon was also sued for back child support for a “secret family” last year.