Royals release Yuniesky Betancourt

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Predictably no team wanted anything to do with Yuniesky Betancourt and his contract on waivers, so after designating him for assignment last week the Royals have outright released the veteran infielder.

Kansas City signed Betancourt to a one-year, $2 million deal this offseason despite seeing his amazing out-making ability first-hand in 2010. Between stints with the Royals he was the Brewers’ starting shortstop for a year and hit his usual .252 with a ghastly .271 on-base percentage.

This season Betancourt was even worse, batting .228 with a .256 on-base percentage and .400 slugging percentage in 57 games, mostly as a second baseman, drawing a ridiculous nine walks in 228 plate appearances.

Betancourt’s one real asset is above-average power for a middle infielder, but when that comes with an OBP well below .300 and sub par defense it equals a pretty terrible all-around player.

Peter Bourjos returns to the Angels on minor league deal

Peter Bourjos
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Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.

Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.

The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.