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Tuesday Rockpile: Rafael Betancourt is officially a Rockie again

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Some GM's, like David Dombrowski, choose to use the Winter Meetings to contact every team about Edwin Jackson - including the Rockies - only to pull him off the table.  Instead, it seems Dan O'Dowd spent the majority of his time secluded in his room talking with his own players' agents yesterday.

Dan O'Dowd and Rafael Betancourt had danced in and out of option year, two year contract and three year contract discussions, with the Betancourt ultimately accepting arbitration (Renck) late last night.  He'll likely make close to what he did had the Rockies exercised his option.

Thomas Harding reports that, as expected, Jason Marquis has declined arbitration (Harding), rewarding the Rockies with a sandwich pick for having the guts to risk dealing with his eight figure salary had he accepted.  In truth, you would be hard pressed to find a more clearcut case for declining $10+mil guaranteed around the league.

Troy Renck reported that O'Dowd has been working on multi-year deals for Huston Street, Clint Barmes and Chris Iannetta, as fanshotted below by Hizilla.  Street has been seeking $30mil, but the ultimate offer should be closer to $25mil.  

As for locking up Iannetta (Harding), the deal is a buy-low contract that would buy out his arbitration years.  It would be unlikely to pay him much more than he would receive those years.  Harding notes that Iannetta actually improved his slugging percentage last season by twenty points.  Who knew?  A quick note from the bottom of the article.  Dan O'Dowd said "[Franklin Morales] is going back into our bullpen."

As noted early in the day, the Rockies cleared space for Ryan Spilborghs (Harding).  In deciding not to sell low on the gaucho, Dan O'Dowd had to tell Matt Murton he was once again squeezed from a deserved MLB roster spot.  He was then sold to a team in Japan.  I hope he can return to get another shot on this side of the Pacific in 2011.


For a brief wrap of NL West Rumors from the meetings, take the jump.


MLBTR reports several teams are interested in reliever JJ Putz, including Arizona.

The Diamondbacks reportedly pushed yesterday's blockbuster trade, in which they would send Max Scherzer and one or two prospects while receiving Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.  The deal would also involve Curtis Granderson.  While Joel Sherman called the deal dead and Buster Olney is "unsure if the embers can be re-lit", there is one optimist.  Jon Paul Morosi reports it is still a possibility.

Arizona beat writer Nick Piecoro's head must have been spinning, as he clearly disagreed with the idea of offering Scherzer for Jackson.


Los Angeles

While Los Angeles has no plans to decrease payroll (Dylan Hernandez, LA Times), they don't seem to be in much of a place of power.  The Mets reportedly agreed to send Luis Castillo to Los Angeles for Juan Pierre, a move that would improve the Dodgers' starting lineup and take an expensive bench player off the books, but Ned Colletti wants pitching in return.

The Blue Jays talked to the Dodgers about Roy Halladay (Jayson Stark) but there is expectedly no match there

Colletti is also open to dealing lefty George Sherrill.


San Diego

The Padres will apparently non-tender Kevin Correia MLBTR), who was clearly their most valuable pitcher from start to finish.  The former Giant had just a $750k  base salary last season.  It's a very sad cheap move from the Friars, but I guess they'll need to the money to pay their closer.  While Heath Bell is one of their most enticing trade chips, San Diego's new GM Jed Hoyer seems inclined to keep Bell (Corey Brock,, who would garner about a $5mil salary next season.

San Diego has also been linked to outfielder Reed Johnson (Bill Center, San Diego Union Tribune) and are now on the prowl for a backup catcher with the loss of Henry Blanco (Center).


San Francisco

St. Louis put a dent in the Giants' rotational depth, as the Cards signed Brad Penny to a one -year $7.5mil base salary contract (Buster Olney).  He will likely have a physical tomorrow to complete the deal.'s Chris Haft has some Giants nuggets - Eugenio Velez or Andres Torres will be their leadoff hitter, neither Pablo Sandoval nor Ryan Garko will catch at all next year, and the Giants might attempt to acquire Juan Rivera if the Angels sign Jason Bay.

Speaking of Garko, he is still  "on the bubble" for being non-tendered a contract, according to Sabean (Andrew Baggarly).

Only one NL team remains a serious player for Dan Uggla, that team being San Francisco (Joe Frisaro,  The Orioles are the most likely landing spot.