Advertisement

 CLEVELAND (AP) -Rafael Betancourt, one of the AL's top relievers last season, signed a two-year contract Wednesday with the Cleveland Indians, who avoided going to salary arbitration with the right-hander.
Financial terms were not immediately available on the deal, which includes a third-year club option.
The 32-year-old Betancourt was arguably the majors' best setup man in 2007.
He went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 68 appearances, mostly in the eighth inning before handing the ball to closer Joe Borowski, who led the AL with 45 saves in his first season for Cleveland.
Betancourt's ERA was the league's second-lowest among relievers and opponents batted just .183 against him.
Betancourt's tedious between-pitch routine, in which he incessantly tugs on his cap and paws at the mound with his cleat, frustrated hitters. He finished the season with 80 strikeouts and just nine walks in 79 1-3 innings and recorded three saves.
Betancourt was still two years away from free agency, and last week his agent exchanged salary figures with the Indians in anticipation of an arbitration hearing. Betancourt filed for $2.5 million, while the Indians offered $1.75 million. He made $840,000 last year.
The Indians also exchanged figures with third baseman Casey Blake, who is seeking $6.9 million. Cleveland offered $5.4 million to the versatile 34-year-old, who made $3.75 million last year.
The club hasn't gone to arbitration with a player since 1993.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Tanaka's Yanks take aim at sweep of Stros On Monday, the Yankees shipped pending free agent Aroldis Chapman to the National League. Yet, don’t be surprised if their rollicking performance of late tables...
Thumbnail Cubs-White Sox standoff moves to Wrigleyville The Cubs and their fans couldn’t wait to get Aroldis Chapman into yesterday’s action. Yet, a no-show on offense prevented the squad’s new closer from even...
Thumbnail Mets, Cardinals lock horns in series finale Last night, Bartolo Colon helped the Mets earn a doubleheader split with the Cardinals as only he could. The majors’ oldest player spotted that 86 mph...
Thumbnail Reds vs. Giants Prediction Will bettors be able to cash the over when the Giants host the Reds at 3:45PM ET?
Thumbnail Padres vs. Blue Jays Prediction Will it be a high-scoring game today when the Blue Jays host the Padres at 12:10PM ET?
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages