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Yuniesky Betancourt Is Really Popular

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I'm still finding myself reading about the Zack Greinke trade, and I find it really interesting - both because the Brewers of all teams emerged as the winner, and because Yuniesky Betancourt was included, and Yuniesky Betancourt has had one of the more fascinating and disappointing careers I've ever watched. So I've been curious to see how people are responding to the fact that he's set to be the starting shortstop for a World Series contender.

Now, obviously, because Betancourt was a throw-in rather than the centerpiece, we should expect the conversations about this deal to be focused on Greinke. And, sure enough, that's what we see. Greinke's the ace with the complicated personality, and he's dominated all the talk. But still, I think everything that needs to be said about Yuni can be gleaned from the following three articles:

(1) Over at, they have their original article announcing the trade. The article is 31 paragraphs long, and Yuni is mentioned in two sentences.

(2) Buster Olney wrote up a lengthy response piece over at ESPN, and again, while the piece was focused on Greinke, it did include the following nugget:

That said, some rival evaluators expressed surprise on Sunday over the fact that the Brewers wanted Yuniesky Betancourt back in the deal to be their shortstop, rather than simply make another deal for somebody else to play the position. "He's not going to help them," one longtime talent evaluator said.

(3) This morning, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin met with the Milwaukee media to discuss the blockbuster trade. Todd Rosiak has a transcript, and following are the only two lines in which Betancourt is mentioned:

It’s difficult, but getting Betancourt back to play shortstop and having Gomez to step in and play centerfield, we don’t have to go out and be searching in the free-agent market or trying to make another trade.

But I look back and [Greinke's] a young player, and Betancourt’s 29.


The Milwaukee Brewers added Zack Greinke, and that's a big deal. Greinke's a big deal. Greinke's the trending topic, so to speak, and he's the guy that everybody wants to know about. But at the same time, the Brewers also acquired a new starting shortstop, and you'd figure that that would be worth talking about at least for a little. Instead, the article basically ignored him, and while other executives trashed him, the Brewers' own general manager simply confirmed that he's a shortstop who is 29 years old.

In front of all the media, Melvin could've waited for an opening and tried to give Yuni a positive spin. He could've called him underrated, or a good fit for the ballpark, or a breakthrough candidate, or something. Anything. Instead, he said he's a shortstop, and 29.*

* Yuniesky Betancourt is 28

I had to go digging to find whether Melvin had said anything substantial on Yuni at all since the time of the trade. This is the best I could do:

"He has decent range and arm strength," said Melvin. "He’s an athletic guy."

"I think he's an exciting player who is still young," said Melvin. "He led their club in RBI. I think he will do OK in the field."

"Decent". "OK". When this is the highest praise a guy can get from his new general manager, he'll probably want to stick to renting.