What Does It Take for Yuniesky Betancourt To Succeed in Kansas City?

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 31:  Yuniesky Betancourt #7 of the Seattle Mariners throws to first base against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 31, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jordan LanningCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2009

As many of you probably know, the Royals traded two minor league pitchers for Seattle shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.

The Royals did have to give up Double-A pitcher Daniel Cortes, who has been tagged by some scouts as the best pitcher in the Royals' farm system. They also gave up Single-A reliever Derrick Saito.

I have talked to some Mariners fans, and they say this is a major win for Seattle. I beg to differ.

Cortes is a right-handed pitcher; the Royals have plenty of them. They also just drafted a RHP Aaron Crow, who is projected to be a much better pitcher than Cortes.

This is also Cortes' second season in Double-A, and he has significantly worse numbers than in 2008. He also had an off-the-field incident last month.

Saito is an irrelevant part of this deal. He is very small, being just 5'9" and 155 lbs. So, he is not a well-regarded prospect.

Unlike the Mariners, we know what we are getting with Betancourt. Mariners fans have said he is lazy. That may be true, but we know that we will get an average player who hits eight to nine homers while batting .280 or so.

Betancourt has been injured and will be finishing up his rehab assignment in the Royals' minor league organization next week.

I am a little surprised the Royals didn't pursue Pittsburgh's Jack Wilson anymore than they did, but I think Betancourt will be an OK solution.

In addition, next year, we should have a solid battle between Betancourt and Mike Aviles, who is injured.

I hope Cortes and Saito the best, but at the end of the day, I am very pleased with this trade.

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