Yuniesky Betancourt was said to be drawing interest last week from multiple major league teams, but free agents follow the money and the 31-year-old infielder is headed to Japan on a one-year guaranteed contract with the Orix Buffaloes.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal broke the story first.
Betancourt likely would have had to settle for a non-guaranteed minor league deal had he remained in North America. He gets better money in Nippon Professional Baseball and a much better chance for regular playing time.
A poor defender with an even poorer career on-base rate, Betancourt might have already played his final game in the majors. He batted just .212/.240/.355 in 409 plate appearances last season with the Brewers.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.