Royals obtain shortstop Betancourt from Mariners

The Royals moved to plug their shortstop gap by acquiring Yuniesky Betancourt from the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Betancourt, plus cash, was obtained in exchange for Minor League pitchers Danny Cortes and Derrick Saito.

However, Betancourt will not join the Royals immediately because he’s on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and has just begun an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. He’ll continue his rehab work with the Royals’ Double-A club at Northwest Arkansas.

Betancourt, a .250 hitter in 63 games this season for the Mariners, has two homers, 10 doubles, a triple and 22 RBIs. However, he’s a career .279 hitter in five seasons with the Mariners since making his debut in 2005. A right-handed hitter, he’s tough to strike out, an average of just once in every 11.83 plate appearances.

His 341 double plays rank second in Major League Baseball to the 357 by Oakland’s Orlando Cabrera.

The Royals have been struggling to fill shortstop since Mike Aviles, their 2008 Player of the Year, was injured early this season. He’s out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Willie Bloomquist has started 27 games at shortstop but that’s not considered to be his prime position. Still on the roster is Tony Pena Jr., strong defensively but hitting just .089. Another shortstop, Luis Hernandez, was designated for assignment last Tuesday.

Cortes was assigned to the Mariners’ Double-A team at West Tennessee and Saito will go to Single-A Clinton.

— Dick Kaegel

3 Comments

TPJ is strong defensively? To whom? Callaspo? Just another Royals’ employee trying to tell us their franchise isn’t completely embarrassing…even though we can all see that it is

Another HORRIBLE move by Dayton Moore. With each trade and free agent signing DM is proving that he is a poor Major League GM and is never going to make the Royals a contender.

Another HORRIBLE move by Dayton Moore. With each trade and free agent signing DM is proving that he is a poor Major League GM and is never going to make the Royals a contender.

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