Like I could avoid using this picture. (via)
This has been a pretty productive offseason for the Dodgers, I think. We all liked the Dan Haren signing, we all accepted that Juan Uribe was the best option at third base, I’ve seen few complaints about J.P. Howell or Brian Wilson or Jamey Wright, and while Chris Perez is easily on the bottom of that list, it’s difficult to complain too much about a one-year deal for a few million guaranteed dollars.
All in all, it’s been a productive winter, with the exception of a lack of a backup infielder. And since the market there is so, so barren, that can mean only one thing: It’s the perfect opportunity to do something dumb. What kind of dumb? This counts:
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 3, 2014
For the record, I have absolutely no information or indication that the Dodgers are in on Betancourt. This is purely me seeing a tweet and having the wheels start turning, nothing more, and we should probably be honest that whether it’s Justin Turner or Alexi Casilla or Omar Quintanilla, we’re going to be underwhelmed by whomever comes in for the job — even if it’s just sticking with Dee Gordon.
Still, “four or five teams in” — and “more expected” (!) — from a reporter who has cornered the industry in terms of scoops on terrible or unknown players means that Betancourt is going to have a job next year, and that alone is unthinkable. In over 4,200 plate appearances over nine seasons, he’s been worth… -0.7 WAR. He can’t hit — .261/.285/.388 — and he can’t field (-74 DRS at shortstop). He’d be the perfect example of a replacement player, except for the fact that he never seems to get replaced. Really, I’m not sure that enough attention has been paid to the fact that he started 46 games for Milwaukee last year… at first base.
And yet, teams appear to be competing for him, because… well, this is one of those cases where our usual analytics don’t matter. I don’t need to recite stats, because they’re all terrible. Yet for some reason he keeps getting work, and when you look at a Ned Colletti-run team that needs a flexible backup infielder and has yet to do anything to infuriate us this offseason…
Again, I have no evidence the Dodgers are one of those teams. But would it really surprise you? Prepare yourselves.