Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Agent: Yuniesky Betancourt will ask for release Sunday if not added to Phillies roster

The construction of the Phillies' bench will come to a resolution sooner rather than later because the team must make a decision on infielder Yuniesky Betancourt by Sunday. Betancourt will ask for his release if he is not added to the 25-man roster, his agent said Friday.

Agent: Yuniesky Betancourt will ask for release Sunday if not added to Phillies roster

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt connects on a fourth-inning RBI single against the New York Yankees in a spring training exhibition baseball game in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, March 16, 2013. The Phillies won 7-0. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt connects on a fourth-inning RBI single against the New York Yankees in a spring training exhibition baseball game in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, March 16, 2013. The Phillies won 7-0. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The construction of the Phillies' bench will come to a resolution sooner rather than later because the team must make a decision on infielder Yuniesky Betancourt by Sunday. Betancourt will ask for his release if he is not added to the 25-man roster, his agent said Friday.

"Our preference would be to stay with the Phillies but it's out of our control," Alex Esteban said. "We would definitely be opting out and seeing what's out there."

Esteban has not received an inclination of which way the Phillies are leaning. The Phillies have committed $850,000 to Kevin Frandsen and are enamored of Freddy Galvis' defense. If the Phillies keep both of those infielders, plus a backup catcher, that leaves two bench jobs. One will go to whichever outfielder — John Mayberry Jr. or Laynce Nix — is not starting opening day.

The 25th man could be Darin Ruf, but the Phillies probably want him to see regular time at triple A. That leaves Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte, who has never played above single A, and Jermaine Mitchell in camp as candidates. Mitchell was a six-year, minor-league free agent from Oakland.

More coverage
 
VOTE: Which GM has the best plan in Philly?
 
Bernie Parent's scouting report on Ron Hextall
 
Forum: Will the Flyers be a contender next season?

It's totally possible the Phillies scan the waiver wire in the week leading up to opening day for an bench outfielder.

They could keep Betancourt, too, and go with three reserve infielders. But that would leave just one backup outfielder until Delmon Young returns from ankle surgery.

Betancourt's contract with the Phillies, if purchased, is worth as much as $1.4 million with performance incentives. The Phillies could add him to the roster Sunday and still trade him before opening day. But other teams are aware of the glut of middle infielders and the return would be minimal.

There should be interest in Betancourt, the eight-year veteran who is hitting .439 (18 for 41) with a .957 OPS this spring. St. Louis, Houston and Miami are possible suitors.

"We are obviously keeping an eye on the market and needs of different organizations," Esteban said.


Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer beat writer Matt Gelb and columnist Bob Brookover.

Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected