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.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.