Quick, guess which player ranks third in OPS among AL third baseman, behind only Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez.
Why, it’s Wilson Betemit, of course!
No team but the Royals offered Betemit even a minor-league contract after the White Sox declined to re-sign him as a free agent in 2009.
But here’s Betemit, 29, batting .311/.377/.437, transforming himself into either part of the Royals’ future or a valuable trade chip.
The Marlins are among the teams tracking Betemit, whose position is threatened by top prospect Mike Moustakas.
The Royals, though, don’t necessarily need to trade Betemit, a switch-hitter who would offer the team versatility and protection against injury in the future.
As one club official puts it, “It’s hard to win championships without guys like Wilson Betemit.”
Royals general manager Dayton Moore has known Betemit since the player was 15. For the right price, the Royals might be inclined to continue the relationship going forward.
-- Ken Rosenthal