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Tuesday Rockpile: Arbitration offer deadline is today - Rockies to decide on Betancourt

It is December 1, meaning today is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration, at least to qualify for draft pick compensation. Betancourt is likely the only Rockie to receive salary arbitration offer, writes Troy Renck, leaving Joe Beimel, Jason Marquis and Yorvit Torrealba free.  Betancourt is a no-brainer.  If he accepts arbitration, he'll make less than he would have made had the Rockies exercised his option, but if he declines and signs elsewhere, the Rockies will receive two high and shiny draft picks.  Also, as WolfMarauder noted, Troy Renck also suggests the Rockies are interested in Fernando Tatis, Bobby Crosby, Rich Aurilia, Justin Duchsherer and Miguel Batista.

On a national scale, MLBTradeRumors has spent time inquiring the minds of beat writers everywhere to compile his Arbitration Offer Predictions For Free Agents.

Two highlights from FOX Sports Offseason Buzz:  the Rockies will likely keep Ryan Spilborghs and the Diamondbacks are looking at improving via trade rather than free agency.

The Rockies received their postseason share (Renck).  Their share of the player's pool totaled over $1.77mil.  Just as the Rockies did with the family of Mike Coolbaugh, the Angels awarded a full share to the family of Nick Adenhart.

Samuel Deduno is a hot name on Rockies' farm (Harding).  The 26-year old could be a strong dark horse to join the bullpen next season if the cards fall right.

Thomas Harding also writes that "about 200" broadcasters have applied for the job to replace Jeff Kingery in the radio booth.  The club will decide sometime in "early 2010," which only tells us they are handing it out as a holiday gift.

Speaking of broadcasters, Chip Caray is out at TBS, a divorce reported as mutual.  Hat tip to RhodeIslandRoxFan

It is certainly a bleak year for free agent pitching.  The Hardball Times searched for someone to best compare top free agent John Lackey to, and you might like the comparison.  Click under the fold to find out:

Clone Wars: John Lackey and Jason Hammel
That's right, Jason Hammel.

                              W   ERA    K    BB   WHIP K/9    BB/9 GB%  HR/FB%  FIP    BABIP
John Lackey        11  3.83  139   47  1.27  7.09   2.40  44.9%   9.1%    3.73   0.309
Jason Hammel   10  4.33  133   42  1.39  6.78   2.14  46.2%   9.7%    3.71   0.337

Granted, the author isn't saying Hammel is as good of a bet to best Lackey next season, but for your value either in a fantasy draft pick or salary dollar, which pitcher would you rather have?