Let’s play everybody’s favorite game, Analyze That Trade!

This spring, the Braves traded 3B Wilson Betemit to the Dodgers for utility man Willie Aybar. A week ago, Aybar vanished and his agent has since admitted that Aybar is coping with drug addiction.

Wilson BetemitSo that means the Dodgers got the best of the trade, right? Not exactly. So far this season Betemit has hit .133 with no home runs and six RBI. In other words, the Dodgers wish he would dissapear.

I’d say the trade has been a wash. Betemit has been so bad that the Dodgers are thinking about benching him. The problem is, they don’t have anybody who can play third.

From the L.A. Times:

Betemit’s struggles have the Dodgers considering options at third base — and there aren’t many.

They don’t think prospect Andy LaRoche is ready for the major leagues. LaRoche had a poor spring training offensively and defensively, and is batting .243 at triple A.

They are reluctant to move Nomar Garciaparra from first to third and plug prospect James Loney in at first because of the injury risk to Garciaparra, who has a history of leg and oblique problems. Third base requires more flexibility than first because of the increased throwing demands, and the stakes are high because Garciaparra is so valuable offensively.

An option the Dodgers have discussed is using backup catcher Mike Lieberthal at third base on occasion. Lieberthal, in his 14th season, is a .274 hitter with 150 home runs over his career, yet has only nine at-bats this season.

Playing Lieberthal at third base would be the most desperate move a team has made since Kevin Kennedy let Jose Canseco pitch the eighth inning. Lieberthal hasn’t played third since…well…not recently. He was a shortstop in high school, but that was a long, loooooooong time ago.

And the Dodgers can’t play Nomar at third because he might hurt himself. Moreover, if the Dodgers send Betemit to the minors for more seasoning, they would have to first place him on waivers and risk losing him to another team. Which, frankly, might not be the end of the world. But then they still wouldn’t have a third baseman.

4 Responses to “Betemit ice cold at hot corner”

  1. Nick Kapur says:

    Well, let’s not forget that the Dodgers didn’t just trade Aybar straight up for Betemit. They actually traded both Aybar *and* reliever Dannys Baez for Betemit, which was kind of ridiculous given that Aybar was a better player than Betemit at the time and even a straight-up trade would have been questionable.

    And given that the Nationals had just gotten Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez for two ordinary middle relievers (wheareas Baez was a closer/setup), and that Baez later got a HUGE contract with the Orioles in the offseason, the Dodgers probably could have gotten a *lot* more for him than Betemit.

    Yeah, it did turn out that Aybar is AWOL with a drug problem, but still. However, I do feel I must at least stand up for Betemit a little (it’s not *his* fault he was in a bad trade!), and point out that his BA/BIP this year is a very low .182 so far this year, suggesting that he has been really unlucky when he has actually managed to put the ball in play.

  2. Paul Moro says:

    Nick, it’s true that his BABIP is low. But I think that’s only part of the problem with Betemit. He strikes out far too much. Sure, he has power potential, but he is yet to show it over a substantial period of time. His contact rate is .733, which is far too low for a guy with such limited pop. Even if his BABIP was better – say over .300, which would give him ten hits for the season instead of his current six – he’d still be batting .222.

    His saving grace thus far in ’07 has been his ability to take a few pitches. for a guy hitting .133, a .300 OBP is better than what you’d expect.

  3. Alejandro Leal says:

    Is that Andy LaRoche of Adam LaRoche fame?

  4. Yeap they’re brothers.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]