Colorado’s decision not to trade 38-year-old closer Rafael Betancourt may be a costly one, as he left last night’s game with an elbow injury.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post speculates that it’s a serious injury–and specifically a torn ulnar collateral ligament–because “several teammates quietly patted him on the back” and “the gravity of the moment was powerful.”
He’ll undergo further testing, but a torn UCL would require Tommy John surgery and knock Betancourt out for most or perhaps all of next season. And at age 38 that might end his career.
Betancourt’s contract includes a $4.25 million mutual option for 2014, which the Rockies likely would have exercised. If he’s hurt they’ll no doubt decline the option, paying him a $250,000 buyout.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.