Betemit agrees to join Baltimore
The Orioles have agreed to terms with free agent Wilson Betemit, a one-year deal that gives the organization necessary infield/outfield depth as well as a versatile candidate at designated hitter.
The deal is not official and is still pending a physical, but the initial agreement was reached on Monday with contractual details still being hammered out. Betemit has rebounded from tough 2009 season in Chicago, spending the last two years with Kansas City and Detroit and hitting a combined.290 with a .838 OPS. The 30-year-old Betemit is primarily an infielder, but could play the outfield if needed and gives the Orioles a flexible DH option, an avenue manager Buck Showalter prefers.
Betemit, who resides in the Dominican Republic, has a career .817 OPS against right-handed pitching and it will be interesting to see how he’s used in Baltimore. He offers another option for a leadoff hitter if second baseman Brian Roberts (concussion) is unable to play and could end up seeing a look at third base –where he spent the majority of last season – if Mark Reynolds can’t bounce back from a disappointing defensive year. Betemit could also be used as the team’s primary DH and another bench option –along with Robert Andino – that can fill in almost anywhere.
Both Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette made clear at Saturday’s FanFest that the organization wasn’t done adding pieces, and it was a logical step –in a winter dominated by adding pitching depth — for the O’s to turn toward upgrading positionally before next month’s camp. The Orioles are expected to continue to add arms before heading to Sarasota, Fla. with heavy interest in free agent closer Francisco Cordero.