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Rosenthal's Latest: Betancourt, Damon, NL West

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Ken Rosenthal put out another solid piece that covers a wide range of topics:

  • A source informed Rosenthal that the Rockies' two-year offer in the range of 6-7 million dollars to Rafael Betancourt was rejected. Betancourt, who projects to be a Type-A free agent, went 4-3 with a 2.73 ERA last season. The Rockies certainly have the advantage in these talks, in large part because most teams won't be willing to sacrifice two draft pick for his services. 
  • Rosenthal thinks Johhny Damon should follow in the steps of Paul O'Neill is he wants to stay in New York. O'Neill signed a two year deal to stay with the Yankees in 1998 and then signed a one year deal in 2001. At this point, all signs point to the Yankees retaining Hideki Matsui over Damon. Matsui has a better bat and Damon is not the defensive-minded outfielder he was five years ago, meaning he would likely spend more time at DH in the next couple of years. However, a team-friendly two year deal might be the only way he can stay in New York. 
  • Contrary to reports, the San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the Giants are merely keeping tabs on 16-year old prospect Wagner Mateo, not closing in on a deal as some reports suggest. Mateo was released by the Cardinals in July after an eye issue was reveled to team officials.
  • Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, who is a year away from free agency, is looking for an Oliver Perez-like deal. De La Rosa is 27-17 with a 4.65 ERA. However, De La Rosa's FIP, according to Fan Graphs, averages out to a 3.98 ERA. Still, his inconsistent track record makes him a trade candidate unless he is willing to take a modest extension. 
  • The Phillies are seriously considering other options at third base for the 2010 season, even though they hold a 5 million dollar club option on Pedro Feliz. Feliz has hit .252 since joining the Phillies with 26 home runs and a .305 on-base percentage in 291 games. In two postseason appearances with the Phillies, Feliz has hit .204 with 2 home runs. He hasn't done much to impress the Phillies, which likely explains why they are looking elsewhere. Chone Figgins, Garrett Atkins, and Kevin Kouzmanoff could be on their list of targets this offseason.   
  • Rosenthal thinks the Padres may look to move Heath Bell or Kouzmanoff for young prospects before they move Adrain Gonzalez. Former GM Kevin Towers was able to bring in seven prospects in trades for Jake Peavy and Scott Hairston, and thinks Hoyer could follow that plan by moving those two. Bell could be an option for the Cubs, Phillies, Astros, and Braves while Kouzmanoff could fit into the Brewers, Cardinals, Phillies, or Mariners' plans, among others.