MLB Rumors: Teams Fighting Over Colorado Rockies Closer Rafael Betancourt
The Colorado Rockies are 26 games below five hundred after 100 games and are tied with the Houston Astros for fewest wins since the All-Star Break (four). The Colorado Rockies have a small list of untouchable players, but are willingly fielding offers from teams for players not named Carlos Gonzalez and the injured Troy Tulowitzki. This means that the team’s closer, Rafael Betancourt, could be shipped to a new home.
Betancourt has only 17 saves on the year, but if you consider that’s more than half the team’s wins, it’s not a terrible number. The first year closer’s record is only 1-3 and he has blown four saves, but for a pitcher on such an awful team, his 2.92 ERA could strengthen a contender’s bullpen.
There is a long list of teams that could be interested in Betancourt. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics have all expressed interest according to the Denver Post’s Troy Renck. Additionally, the Los Angeles Angels, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves are looking for relief pitchers. The Rockies may be able to find a bidder who gives up enough to convince them to part with Betancourt.
Betancourt was the Rockies presumed closer for the foreseeable future after the team shipped Huston Street to the San Diego Padres for a player to be named. Street is perfect in save situations this year with a .91 ERA. The Rockies will likely turn to Rex Brothers to close if they trade Betancourt. Brothers, in his second year in the majors, has been unsuccessful in his five save opportunities as a reliever and carries a 3.89 ERA.
It is unlikely that the Rockies will unload Betancourt unless a great deal comes along. The club has already given away pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and infielder Marco Scuataro for little long-term return. Betancourt’s value to the struggling Rockies pitching staff may be more than the market value for an inconsistent closer. Of course, the Rockies need to focus on the future even as they move towards 100 losses.