Tigers acquire Betemit for two prospects

The Tigers remain on the lookout for a starting pitcher on the trade market, but they decided they couldn’t wait any longer to find some offense at third base. Detroit swung a deal Wednesday to add veteran infielder Wilson Betemit from Kansas City for prospects Antonio Cruz and Julio Rodriguez.

The move fills a void at the hot corner, where Brandon Inge’s struggles — first with mononucleosis, then with his bat and energy level since — had become a lingering issue. It also puts Brandon Inge’s future as the longest-tenured current Tiger into question.

“We like Betemit,” Dombrowski said. “We feel like he upgrades us at third base at this time. We’re in a position where, you know, we’ve scuffled offensively at that spot.”

Once a highly-touted infield prospect with the Braves, Betemit has found a fit as a corner infielder with some pop, bouncing around teams. His .297 averagewith 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 84 games last year with Kansas City helped him find a fit there.

That put the 29-year-old Betemit in a position to get a good share of playing time with the Royals at the start of this season. However, he was a placeholder for Royals third-base prospect Mike Moustakas. Once Kansas City called him up last month, Betemit was out of a role.

Betemit batted .281 (57-for-203) this year with 15 doubles, three homers and 27 RBIs. His .750 OPS is 139 points lower than last year, but higher than in any season since 2007.

By comparison, five different Tigers had combined at third base for a .186 average, a .500 OPS, two home runs, 27 RBIs and 79 strikeouts in 334 at-bats.

“He has swung the bat well the last couple years with Kansas City,” Dombrowski said. “He’s a very solid third baseman. He’s got a good arm over there, probably a little bit better left-handed hitter than right-handed hitter, but he is a switch-hitter and he’s got pop on both sides of the plate. He puts fear in us any time he comes to the plate, can drive in a run.

“He’s going to be hitting at the bottom of the lineup, so it’s a spot where all of a sudden you have a guy like that down below that can add, from an offensive perspective, we feel good about that.”

He’ll get a good share of at-bats to build on those numbers in Detroit.

Betemit is working on a one-year contract worth $1 million for the season.

Dombrowski hinted that they had been working on other options at third base. Those options dried up, though, and with Inge’s 0-for-4 game Wednesday dropping his average to .177 on the season, the Tigers made their move.

“It’s a tough situation,” Dombrowski said. “Brandon has done a lot for the organization. We would not have signed him this winter if we didn’t think he was going to come out and he was going to do very well for us, or do solidly. We never projected him to be a .300 hitter, but thought he’s come out and be a guy that could hit .230 or .240 with some home runs and play real good defense and maybe drive in runs. It hasn’t happened this year, and I think we’re at the point where playing him every day, we just don’t see it happening right now.”

The aforementioned contract was a two-year, $11.5 million deal signed last November, which plays a big role in any decision the Tigers make on Inge. Judging from Dombrowski’s remarks, it appears contracts played a role in the Tigers’ trade options as well.

“It’s just come to a point where it’s decision time in the sense that you get to July 31 and you may not be able to make a move,” Dombrowski said. “I was talking to a couple other clubs, but one primarily about a third baseman that isn’t going to go anywhere, so really your choices at third base are really limited if you’re going to do something. So we didn’t want to get caught where we were sitting there and you come to July 31 and all of a sudden you say, ‘Well, he’s still scuffling at this point, what do we do at this time?” It was the right time to make the move and Kansas City was willing to do it.”

Betemit is scheduled to join the team on Thursday in Minnesota, where the Tigers will open a four-game series against the Twins. Dombrowski said they’ll add Betemit to the active roster then. They have the room on the 40-man roster to fit him, but they’ll have to take somebody off the 25-man roster to create space.

Dombrowski also deferred questions about Inge’s future role on the team to Thursday.

42 Comments

Well th e MLB jitters have arrived in the 3rd.

Well the kid pitched pretty well after the mess he got into. Both runs are unearned. But the good thing is he didn’t start walking people with the bases loaded. He look like a pitch-to-contact guy to me and I don’t think we need another one of those in the rotation. Puts too much stress on a range challenged infield.

Rod/Mario talking about how to steal 3rd if yu ae Austin Jackson. Here’s a hint—-watch Rajai Davis of the Blue Jays.

Trivia answer would be Jason Grilli.

Wrong! Andy Van Hekken I guess.

Well we’ve got the Venezuelean 4 by 90′ relay team coming up this inning.

The Vaqueros went 4 x 4 that inning!!

Sorry, but it is Llaneros

Very wise to get someone ready. I have no confidence in the Purcey. When he starts to miss the strike zone he gets hammered.

My friend, Andy Van Hekken from Holland, MI., 20 miles away. Go Carlos!

Sorry, I said no more but trading Sizemore for Purcey?

You can’t rely on Purcey. As I have said before—I watched him screw up royally time and time again for the Jays.
Tough road to hoe for Benoit here. Be nice to pull this game out with Cleveleand losing today.

Oh, come on now, Tigers.

Ugly. Real ugly. Benoit goes from being untouchable to losing confidence —again.
Purcey is just another way to spell Brad Thomas

I’m not crazy about Purcey. Not sure if he is “intense” enough.

And it gets even worse. JL guilty of overmanaging again. Should just have left Oliveros in till he got in trouble. Leyland has done this kind of stuff in the 7th inning a couple of times this year. His bullpen is not good enough to think you can get away with a parade of pitchers. If you got one that working—leave him be.

I hear you on the trade DB. I think that trade had more to do with getting rid of the reminder of the Polanco fiasco. You get rid of Sizemore then maybe people forget about those brutal decisions.

The only reason Purcey will stay here is because he has experience. I’d rather have Fu-Te Ni here than Purcey.
We’ll probably see Perry again before too long but I really think they will accelerate Chance Ruffin. The pen continues to be a problem.

pretty darn disappointed! Purcey?

Purcey another quality pick up by Dombrowski? He started out okay, but that was rather short lived. Gosh really ticked off right now.

Mr. D is going to talk about Brandon during the Tigers Live segment.

This was a game they should have won. Guillen’s error allowed 2 unearned runs. Purcey’s 3 walks were inexcusable. With a lead why did JL even go to Purcey? Cause it was his turn just like some of the other stupid moves JL makes? If he was going to use Furbush any way, why not instead of Purcey? Purcey should only pitch if the Tigers are way behind already or maybe 10 runs ahead. Then JL brings in Benoit in the 7th. Not JL’s usual move. Benoit is an 8th inning pitcher. The only really legit run was the homerun. Tigers could have won the game 5-1, maybe 5-2 0r 3. So now it is Betemit. Who’s going to make room for him on the roster? It can’t be Inge or Rayburn who aren’t playing anyway, can it?

I really thought we’d win that game, right up to the time Purcey came in. I was surprised that he was the choice with Coke and Furbush out there. There’s no use for any big league pitcher who can walk the bases loaded with none out. Benoit, meanwhile, has to start the inning with a clean slate. We’ve got some issues in the pen that weren’t recognized tonight. And I keep hearing DD say “Purcey was a guy we coveted.” Dave sure can lay it on thick when he’s trying to cover something up. At any rate, a lost opportunity tonight. A game we shouldn’t have lost.

I thought tonite would have been a good night to rest Carlos, expecially heading to Minny.

Hey, anybody! If DD is supposed to say something about Inge, I won’t hear it here in Illinois. Can someone put a comment here about what he says? I’ll wait and see. Thank you.

It was the same interview he gave this afternoon. It wasn’t live. However, the tweet by Jason is live and Brandon will be leaving the team via DFA.

Jason tweeted Brandon will be DFA’d.

He’s talking live now. He will be waived and go thru waivers and will accept an assignment with Toledo.

The Tigers need another starting pitcher—no question about it. You can’t hope & dream that the farm system will help out in this regard. And I don’t mean just this season. I really don’t see anyone other than perhaps Turner, that is truly capable.
You look at some of the bullpens around baseball (even this one of the A’s) and you can see that we are lacking in that department. We just don’t have the shut-down dominance day in and day out. The middle relief is a revolving door.
We really need an effective Ryan Perry. And take a Chance on Ruffin. Let’s see what he’s got. I mean they have used Villareal, Gonzalez, Thomas and Weinhardt, among others, So it’s not as if they are taking a huge leap of faith afterall.
Below did OK. One pretty shaky inning but the Guillen error really hurt the cause that inning.
Leyland has to have a better sense of who and when to use in that bullpen. Granted he needs some personnel changes too.
Tough one to lose.

i couldnt agree more with you dan. ubaldo jimenez is ringing in my head and needs to be a tiger starter. we need more consistancy from our startin pitching which would take alot of pressure off the bullpen. this is a great team offensively unfortionatly we cant be happy scoring 5runs a game when our pitching staff seems to be content giving up 7. which leads me back to the frustration of wilson betiment, gave up two pitchers for that guy, when we dindt need to give anything away to put don kelly in the 9spot and play 3rd. ooh i get it the plan is to score 6 runs a game and pray the other team has an off day

Now, Brandon is going to talk.

It’s making me puke. You’ll have to read it for yourselves.

Not the way Brandon ever thought he would go out.
The truth be told, they should have got something for him when they had the chance a couple of years ago. Even though it seems this was a move that had to be made it still evokes a certain sadness.

Pup—can this be read somewhere?

OK. in a nutshell, with tears in his eyes, he didn’t want to be released. He’ll go down there to Toledo and come back better than ever.

Thanks. Some truth in there and some consequences I suppose.

I didn’t see any tears. The hard fact is, he’d never get the same deal with another team even if one was interested, which is doubtful. He doesn’t have much choice but to accept the Toledo assignment. That said, I believe everything he said about this being home and all that. He’s not making that up. If he realistically wants to return to his former role, it will take a lot of hard work and acceptance of circumstances.
Sorry for commenting on things that some of you haven’t been able to see, but the transcript should be out very quickly.

Detroit has only recently become a home for him. He still has his other house back in whatever state he lives in. I don’t believe a word of what he said. He’s still getting paid over 5 million a year. Lots of players buy a home in Detroit, but it’s their second home, just like his home in the D is. Leland has a home in Detroit. The video will be up on You tube or the website and then you can see his pity tears. No pity from me for him. No one is being overpaid on that team more than him and were stuck with it. Grandy cried when he left, but it wasn’t out of self pity.

Back to tonight’s game. These are the games that end up costing you in the end. Whichever team avoids the most of these will win the division. As Dan said, we need better personnel in some areas, but the manager still has to make better use of what we have. I haven’t liked this Purcey business from day one.
This is going to be a gut wrenching 10 weeks.

And I amj already freaking out over the upcoming series in Minny. It feels bad already. The Twins are starting to come on and as more of their key guys come off the DL they will get better.

At least the weather should be a bit cooler. It’s supposed to be around 100 degrees in Detroit tomorrow, so am glad they will miss that. Shoud have won tonight. But, it’s water over the bridge, now.

this is just some slight of hand trick to give tiger fans a sense of progress, to be serious this team without a doubt should have made moves for pitching especially in the bulpen, with guillen back it improves this lineup signifigantly and don kelly definatly is good enough to hit in the 7-9 spots on this team, without a doubt this team is going to squeak into the playoffs again and be out in the first round at best and for me it is extremely disapointing and, hate to say it, typical, without a signifigant move DD should be released imediatly. we know a move needed to be made at 3rd however we didnt need to give up future pitching

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