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 Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.