Ned Yost media session: Betemit trade

Before the Royals and Chicago White Sox squared off in Wednesday’s 7:10 rubber match at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City manager Ned Yost announced that the club traded reserve infielder Wilson Betemit to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for minor leaguers Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez.

Cruz, a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher, has pitched the entire season for West Michigan in the Class A Midwest League, compiling a 2-6 record with a 3.11 ERA in 22 games, including 10 starts. He was signed by Detroit as a non-drafted free agent out of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic on January 7, 2009. West Michigan is playing the Royals’ Class A affiliate Kane County this evening, so Cruz will switch clubhouses and be in uniform for the Cougars tonight.

Rodriguez, a 21-year-old catcher, is hitting .283 with 11 doubles, one home run, 27 RBI and 20 runs scored in 66 games for Lakeland in the Florida State League (A Advanced). He was named the Dominican Summer League Tigers Player of the Year in 2008 and was an All-Star in the New York-Penn League last season for Connecticut. Rodriguez will join the Royals’ High A affiliate in Wilmington.

Yost was complimentary of Betemit during his tenure in Kansas City and indicated that the veteran now enters a situation in Detroit where he has a chance to receive more playing time.

“Wilson did a great job for us,” Yost said. “He’s great on a club because he’s got great makeup [and] he’s got a great attitude.”

To fill Betemit’s roster spot, the club has recalled infielder Mike Aviles from AAA Omaha. Aviles was hitting .307 with nine home runs, eight doubles, two triples, 25 RBI and 21 runs scored in 35 games for the Storm Chasers. His .586 slugging percentage led the team. Aviles was on the Royals’ 2011 Opening Day roster and played in 47 games for the big league club with five home runs, 30 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

Aviles has played second base, shortstop and third base during his previous stints in the Majors and offers Yost the ability to give shortstop Alcides Escobar, second basemen Chris Getz and third basemen Mike Moustakas an occasional day of rest.

“Our intent was to get Aviles back here,” Yost said. “[The trade] gives Wilson a chance to go to a club where he’s going to play more, and it gives us better options in the infield.”

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