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just-checking-in-horacio-salty-and-betemit | January | 2008 Articles

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Just Checking In: Horacio, Salty, and Betemit

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Courtesy of the AP, we learned that Wilson Betemit, Horacio Ramirez, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia aren't getting anything handed to them on a silver platter since leaving the Braves. Avoiding arbitration, Betemit just signed a 1-year, $1,165,000 contract, which is a great price for a utility guy like him who can play multiple positions and hit well off the bench. If I were Cashman, I would have tried to sign him to a multiyear deal -- something like 3 years, $5 or $6 million. Otherwise, though, nice move. Meanwhile, the utterly insane Mariners avoided arbitration with Horacio, signing him for $2.75 million -- if you're keeping score at home, that means they'll be paying him more than Rafael Soriano will make next year, despite the fact that most people seem to agree the Ramirez-for-Soriano trade was one of the worst trades of the last few years. Apparently, they believe that his 7.16 ERA, and the fact that for the second straight year he was unable to pitch 100 innings, was something of a fluke. They ought to just put him in their bullpen, let him save a few games, and trade him to Ed Wade or Wayne Krivsky, who never met a reliever they didn't want to overpay. Oh, and the Texas Rangers are giving Gerald Laird $1.6 million (.224/.278/.349) to play catcher for them. Saltalamacchia -- the guy for whom they traded Teixeira so that he could catch for them, and who is 6 years younger and already a much better hitter -- is going to have to win a catching job from him in spring training. Here's a hint for the Rangers: if you're trying to figure out whether a 28-year old catcher with a 74 career OPS+ should occupy a lineup spot, much less make a million and a half for the privilege, the answer is no. Tip of the cap to Brian Cashman for spending not a lot of money on a valuable bench guy. (Betemit's actually playing for $60,000 less than Matt Diaz, who is probably one of the more underpaid guys in the MLB.) Wag of the finger to Bill Bavasi and Jon Daniels, for giving millions of dollars to really crappy players. If they have so much money to throw around, the least they could do would be to give us some in our next trade with them.

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