Yuniesky Betancourt’s agent misjudged his market just a little bit

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Last month Yuniesky Betancourt’s agent, Alex Esteban of Miami Sports Management, said the following to MLB Trade Rumors:

I can assure you that Yuni will be signing a major league contract. Currently, there are four teams we are in conversations with and we expect to be finalizing a deal shortly after the holidays.

Couple things. One, there was no “finalizing a deal shortly after the holidays” because Betancourt signed today: January 28. Two, after saying “I can assure you that Yuni will be signing a major league contract” Esteban ended up getting Betancourt a minor-league contract with a team that has four clear-cut starting infielders (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Michael Young, Ryan Howard) and a younger utility man candidate (Freddy Galvis).

It’s not Esteban’s fault that no teams really wanted Betancourt–good job, teams!–but man … agents sure do like to reinforce the stereotypes an awful lot.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.