Yuniesky Betancourt’s spring forces Phillies’ hand

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Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt can opt out of his Minor League contract with the Phillies tomorrow, which means he will want to know if the team plans to bring him north on the 25-man roster. Betancourt is hitting .447 in 47 spring at-bats which has certainly put him on some other teams’ radars, such as the Cardinals.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Betancourt will, in fact, ask for his release if he is not given a roster spot tomorrow:

Betancourt’s contract with the Phillies, if purchased, is worth as much as $1.4 million with performance incentives. The Phillies could add him to the roster Sunday and still trade him before opening day. But other teams are aware of the glut of middle infielders and the return would be minimal.

 

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.