Oh Please Oh Please Oh Please

Dave · November 5, 2008 at 7:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

In the spirit of spreading rumors that are unlikely to materialize into anything, but that at least make you beg for it to have some shred of truth, comes this gem from the Kansas City Star:

The Royals and Mariners did discuss a Billy Butler-for-Betancourt swap before the 2007 season. Seattle rejected the offer before Moore acquired Tony Peña as a replacement for Angel Berroa.

What’s changed?

The Mariners have a new general manager in Jack Zduriencik. They lost 101 games last season. Betancourt’s development plateaued over the last two years. And Seattle can use some punch after scoring fewer runs last season than all but one American League team.

It’s a long shot that also produced claims by both clubs that no talks have taken place.

Even so, the Royals are more likely to trade Butler after acquiring first baseman Mike Jacobs in a trade with Florida. They are also seeking a middle infielder, preferably a shortstop, which would enable them to shift Mike Aviles to second base.

Plus all signs point to alternatives in the free-agent market — such as Rafael Furcal, Edgar Renteria and Orlando Hudson — moving beyond the club’s fiscal reach.

Moore admitted, “We really don’t have a lot of flexibility, payroll-wise.”

Billy Butler for Yuniesky Betancourt? I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

Of course, nothing’s going to come of it, but at least it put a smile on my face.


33 Responses to “Oh Please Oh Please Oh Please”

  1. diderot on November 5th, 2008 8:17 am

    Baseball gods–please make this happen.

  2. bakomariner on November 5th, 2008 8:30 am

    That would be soooooo great…this is probably my favorite part of the season…I love the rumors and possibilities…

  3. msb on November 5th, 2008 8:31 am

    Larry Stone echoes your sentiments

  4. coasty141 on November 5th, 2008 8:32 am

    Butler/Raul filling the DH spot would be decent. Make it happen Z- and on to our other holes to fill.

  5. ThundaPC on November 5th, 2008 8:40 am

    Yea, I caught that too (from Larry Stone’s list). Even though it’s a rumor, getting someone like Billy Butler would go a long way in adding players that actually contribute talent wise to the team.

  6. Dave on November 5th, 2008 8:57 am

    Brad Nelson, Joe Crede, Jeremy Affeldt?

    You’re welcome for the ideas, Larry.

  7. marc w on November 5th, 2008 9:15 am

    Wait, what? Butler for Betancourt???

    GET IT DONE. This is perfect; this makes six kinds of sense for both teams.

  8. Jud 8 on November 5th, 2008 9:41 am

    OMG, if we could JUST get rid of Yuni, I would throw a freaking party. Getting Butler would be a bonus.

  9. Jud 8 on November 5th, 2008 9:42 am

    Brad Nelson, Joe Crede, Jeremy Affeldt?

    You’re welcome for the ideas, Larry.

    Gotta give credit when credit is due, I thoght about you Dave, so soon as I read the article.

  10. The Ancient Mariner on November 5th, 2008 9:51 am

    Actually, marc, giving up Butler for Betancourt, specifically, makes zero sense for KC. The basic concept of the deal is good, if it means giving up a lesser hitter or getting back a better shortstop; but that particular combination would be dumb for them. Still, they might do it, and if this deal actually does go through, I’ll be thrilled.

  11. bakomariner on November 5th, 2008 10:12 am

    If they could make this trade, who would be the best replacement for Yuni? Free-agent, trade, or internal option?

    I’d hope for a defensive wonder rather than another bat…

  12. marc w on November 5th, 2008 10:14 am

    Look at from their point of view, TAM – they’re looking to upgrade offensively from Tony Pena (NOT Aviles) and defensively from Aviles.
    IF they believe that Betancourt is a reasonable fielder (and I’m sure many scouts still believe this), then it makes a ton of sense for them. They clearly soured on Butler, and they’re probably shocked that Butler could command a starting up the middle defender. So yeah, the basic concept of the deal works perfectly from both sides.

    KC’s going to be hearing one thing from their scouts and another thing from Seattle blogs and defensive metrics like RZR or UZR. Clearly, metrics are much more advanced now, but it’s not a slam dunk at all that a GM would overrule scouts who’ve called the guy the best fielder since Ozzie Smith to go with John freakin’ Dewan’s call. I understand that motivation, which is why Zduriencik should act now…

    EVEN IF they think he’s a below ave. SS now, they may think they can “fix” him or that his poor results were some bizarre park effect. Seriously, I simply do not recognize the Betancourt I saw in 2008. I saw him in the minors, and I saw a guy who actually was a great fielder. This is like if Mike Cameron suddenly rated as a piss-poor CF; plenty of teams might be tempted to bet that something in the data just wasn’t right. I understand that, but I just don’t want the M’s to be the team doing the betting any more.

  13. msb on November 5th, 2008 10:41 am

    and they are the team who traded for Mike Jacobs.

  14. joser on November 5th, 2008 10:42 am

    Betancourt is much bigger than he was when he was in the minors or even that first year with the M’s. I’d say he’s gained close to 30 lbs. Which would be fine if it was muscle, and he had a high enough average to put that to use by getting wood on the ball, and he was playing a position where added inertia didn’t matter. But it looks like it’s mostly just fat: his slugging didn’t improve, and his fielding got worse as his range dropped. Though, weirdly, most of his errors (anecdotally) seem to be throwing errors which seems like it could be fixable. Not much you could do about his range short of putting back on the raft for the Cuba weight-loss plan.

  15. bakomariner on November 5th, 2008 10:43 am

    MAKE IT HAPPEN Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. bakomariner on November 5th, 2008 10:44 am

    Isn’t Yuni supposed to be training with Ibanez to lose some weight?

  17. Benne on November 5th, 2008 11:50 am

    Isn’t Yuni supposed to be training with Ibanez to lose some weight?

    Nah, Silva is fattening him up in a dastardly plot to bake him into a delicious Christmas pie.

  18. Carson on November 5th, 2008 12:03 pm

    Billy Butler is also a lot easier to spell, and should allow us to cut spending on Mods.

  19. bakomariner on November 5th, 2008 12:32 pm

    I don’t know if I want anyone with the initials Billy B. in Seattle…

  20. msb on November 5th, 2008 12:38 pm

    from Larue in Sept.:

    “And whether or not he’s back next season, Ibañez has a gift he’s giving the ’09 team – a new-look Yuniesky Betancourt. “He’s going to work out with me this offseason in Miami,” said Ibañez, whose offseason workout regimen is legendary among Mariners. “It was a mutual decision.” ”

    anyone remember what shape Yuni was in, in ’06? that was the last time he took part in the workouts…

  21. LewLegend on November 5th, 2008 12:41 pm

    With Silva and Butler on the roster, it may be time to buy stock in Old Country Buffet.

    Baseball wise…who takes Yuni’s spot on the roster? A defensive stopgap guy like Rey Ordonez or do we trade for a Khalil Greene type player? It’s not like we’re loaded with shortstops in the system.

    I guess it’s like buying a house. You buy a house because you like it but if times get tough, can you resell it? No replacements immediately available for Yuni or Beltre and those are the first two names coming up on the trade market…yikes.

  22. bakomariner on November 5th, 2008 12:43 pm

    Since he probably won’t get traded, I sure hope Raul kicks Yuni’s ass and gets him back in shape…

    If we are stuck with the double-play twins, hopefully they go into spring training in the best shape yet…

    Keep them away from Silva!!!!

  23. JasonAChurchill on November 5th, 2008 1:09 pm

    Some of the losers, or reluctance from, the Rafael Furcal sweepstakes are going to have interest in Betancourt at some level.

    The Dodgers have always like him, according to one of their scouts who first saw Betancourt in AAA Tacoma, and the Orioles aren’t moving Brian Roberts to shortstop and expressed interest in Betancourt early during the Erik Bedard talks.

    Billy Butler would have been awesome, of course, he’s still got a good chance to be a legit MOTO stick.

  24. JasonAChurchill on November 5th, 2008 1:19 pm

    re: Marc W

    Doesn’t it seem like it’s all about laziness to you? It does to me. After watching Betancourt the previous three seasons, including in the minors, it seems odd that he’d not only cease getting better midway through the ’07 season, perhaps earlier than that, but take two steps back.

    He did weigh in at 202 pounds in February, and may have played in the mid to upper 190s in ’08, which probably has something to do with it, but it almost appears as if the side work was, well, sidelined, too.

  25. ernier on November 5th, 2008 1:19 pm

    I would trade Yuni to KC for Billy Butler or Kila Ka’aihue. Kila hasn’t proven he can hit big league pitching yet, but he’s a lefty and tore up the minors last year. .314 avg, 34 hr, 100 rbi and a 104/67 BB/K ratio. Since Jacobs is a lefty also, KC might want to move another lefty instead of Butler.

  26. marc w on November 5th, 2008 1:52 pm


    Laziness is probably the biggest part of it, which is why I completely understand some team taking a flyer on him and trying to instill the fear of god in the guy (note: trading Billy Butler is NOT ‘taking a flyer’). He does look heavier, but I just can’t see mid-190s to 202lbs making a difference like we’ve seen. My bigger concern is that he either had an injury of some sort.

    Given the state of defensive metrics, I have to believe this sort of collapse isn’t unprecedented (maybe Rey Ordonez?), but we just don’t know the similar cases.

  27. azruavatar on November 5th, 2008 2:15 pm

    Moore did acquire Jacobs for a decent prospect. Stranger things could happen (though giving up on Butler would be absurd at this point).

  28. JasonAChurchill on November 5th, 2008 2:41 pm

    I see the conditioning (weight, etc) being a part of laziness, but not all of it. His work ethic has been lacking the past few years, and it’s showing, not just in physical condition, but in how much work and overall effort is put in getting better every day.

    But he was 10-14 pounds heavier weighing in between 2006 and 2008. That’s quite a bit for a 5-10 kid that is 25-26 years old.

  29. marc w on November 5th, 2008 2:45 pm

    It’s a decent percentage increase Jason, and it’s possible that the weight and the work ethic alone account for his vanishing skills, but we need to explain a MASSIVE decline.
    I think it’s possible that all of us (and I’m as guilty as anyone) were wrong about his true talent level in 2005. It’s also possible that his true talent level is still north of where it was this year. But from what I saw (or thought I saw) in 2005, he could lose 2 steps and still be right around average. No metric or M’s fan would say he’s anywhere close to average right now.

    I really wonder how much of this might be positioning. I’m just guessing, but it might account for Beltre’s poor in-zone fielding by RZR which is more than made up for by an ungodly amount of out-of-zone plays.

  30. msb on November 5th, 2008 3:28 pm

    speaking of defense, the NL gold gloves are out.

    I am sure you’ll be surprised to hear that Maddux won another one.

  31. Madison Mariner on November 6th, 2008 12:30 am

    “With Silva and Butler on the roster, it may be time to buy stock in Old Country Buffet.”

    Ahh, so they have those in Seattle, too, eh? I thought it was just a Midwestern chain. 🙂

    I’d love a trade of Betancourt for Butler, and it would be all kinds of wonderful if the Royals would be willing to trade Butler for just Betancourt.

    But if Dayton Moore asked for, er, something more(in addition to Betancourt), what player would be a nice 2nd piece? Would something as lowly as Michael Wilson do it, or perhaps Rob Johnson? A pitching prospect, perhaps?

    Just throwing out ideas here. 🙂

  32. Jar on November 6th, 2008 7:05 am

    Man Kansas City is stupid.

    (Jar = Mariners fan in Kansas City)

  33. The Ancient Mariner on November 6th, 2008 7:51 am

    marc, I understand the logic, certainly; my point is about the real value of Butler and Betancourt, and that Dayton Moore’s perception of that value would have to be skewed in both cases (low in Butler’s case, high in Yuni’s) for them to make that deal. It’s certainly one that they could think made sense — the same way Bavasi thought the Bedard deal made sense.

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