Last month Yuniesky Betancourt’s agent, Alex Esteban of Miami Sports Management, said the following 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.
Couple things. One, there was no “finalizing a deal shortly after the holidays” because Betancourt signed today: January 28. Two, after saying “I can assure you that Yuni will be signing a major league contract” Esteban ended up getting Betancourt a minor-league contract with a team that has four clear-cut starting infielders (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Michael Young, Ryan Howard) and a younger utility man candidate (Freddy Galvis).
It’s not Esteban’s fault that no teams really wanted Betancourt–good job, teams!–but man … agents sure do like to reinforce the stereotypes an awful lot.
The Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Brooks Pounders from the Indians for cash considerations, the teams reported Saturday. Despite his limited and varied major-league experience, Pounders has put up intriguing numbers at the Triple-A level and is expected to step into a not-insignificant role with the Mets’ relief corps.
Pounders, 28, signed a minor-league deal with the Indians last December and pitched to a healthy 2.31 ERA, 2.8 BB/8, and 11.8 SO/9 over his first 35 innings in Cleveland’s farm system. He hasn’t taken the mound in a major-league setting since 2018, however, when he appeared in 14 games with the Rockies and labored through a much more unsightly 7.63 ERA, 1.2 BB/9, and 10.0 SO/9 across 15 1/3 frames. Still, his peripherals are promising, and there’s no question the Mets could use some help bolstering a bullpen that currently ranks eighth-worst in the league with a collective 5.31 ERA and 0.2 fWAR.
In subsequent roster moves, fellow righty Tyler Bashlor was sent back to Triple-A Syracuse for the second time this season, while Héctor Santiago was designated for assignment, Tim Peterson was optioned to Triple-A, and Chris Flexen was recalled from Triple-A. It’s been a less-than-ideal campaign for Bashlor so far this year: through 13 relief appearances for the club, he lost control of a bloated 5.23 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, and 9.3 SO/9 in 11 2/3 innings and had not been utilized in a game since June 2.