ROYALS ACQUIRE SHORTSTOP YUNIESKY BETANCOURT FROM SEATTLE
The Royals have acquired shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for minor league pitchers Danny Cortes and Derrick Saito. Betancourt, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 25, just began an injury rehabilitation assignment with Tacoma (AAA). He will continue his rehab assignment for Northwest Arkansas (AA). His name is pronounced Yuniesky (yoon-ee-ESS-kee) Betancourt (BET-an-court).
The 27-year old Betancourt was hitting .250 (56-for-224) with 10 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 22 RBI in 63 games for the Mariners prior to his D.L. stint. He is a career .279 hitter with 123 doubles, 17 triples, 27 home runs and 202 RBI over five seasons with Seattle after making his debut in 2005. Since becoming the Mariners full-time shortstop in 2006, his 341 double plays rank second in all of baseball to Oakland’s Orlando Cabrera (357). He has been tough to strikeout throughout his career, fanning just once every 11.86 plate appearances, the sixth-best total in baseball since 2005 (min. 2,000 at bats).
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound right handed hitter is a native of Santa Clara, Cuba, who currently resides in Boca Raton, Fla. The Mariners originally signed him as a non-drafted free agent on January 26, 2005 and then signed him to a three-year extension through 2011 with a club option for 2012 on April 4, 2007.
Cortes will be assigned to West Tennessee (AA) and Saito will be assigned to Clinton (A) in the Mariners’ system.