After blowing two consecutive saves in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday, the Rockies have placed closer Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right elbow, reports MLB.com’s Michael Radano. He will undergo an MRI on Monday which the club hopes assuages their fear he has torn his ulnar ligament.
On Wednesday, Betancourt recorded just one out while allowing two doubles and an intentional walk before Michael Young hit a walk-off single to left field. On Thursday, Betancourt got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Betancourt then allowed a double, a stolen base, an infield single, and a walk before Domonic Brown laced a walk-off RBI single to right field. The two shaky outings caused the 38-year-old Betancourt’s ERA to rise from 2.93 to 4.08.
Betancourt was on the DL twice previously this season: from June 1-28 with a strained right groin, and from July 15 through August 16 with appendicitis.
In related transaction news, the Rockies called up Rob Scahill, activated Jhoulys Chacin from bereavement leave, and designated Edgmer Escalona for assignment.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.