Yuniesky Betancourt expects to have a major league deal soon

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The U.S. unemployment rate is still pushing 8%, but Yuniesky Betancourt does not believe he will be unemployed for long. His agent spoke 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.”

Betancourt landing more than a minor league deal with a camp invite despite hitting a mere .228/.256/.400 with seven homers last season is evidence of just how thin things are at shortstop around baseball.

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.