As you may have seen yesterday, the Royals signed shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, a move that was roundly mocked by, well, everyone. To be fair to the Royals, whoever ended up signing Yuni was going to be ridiculed, he is just one of those players that “informed” fans have come to loathe since he brings almost nothing to the table, yet keeps getting starting jobs in the majors.
For non-Royal fans, Betancourt getting signed was an exciting occasion if only because of the comedic potential. Sure, Dayton Moore had his reasons for the move and they might be defensible if we really thought about it. It is just so much easier to just go with the default response of “Ha ha! You signed Yuni!” But KC supporters probably aren’t laughing… at least not yet. It isn’t like Yuni is the only player that will induce instant derision upon news of his signing, he might be their king, but he definitely isn’t alone. With that in mind, let’s take a look at who else remains on the free agent market that will bring with them a cacophony of snark when they join their next team. I like to call this list, the Yuniesky Betancourt All-Stars:
Bartolo Colon – He might actually still be productive, assuming he can get another stem cell bath. Without that, he is just your run-of-the-mill 300-pound, clown-haired starting pitcher.
Mark DeRosa – This is a great signing… if you like players that don’t have wrists.
Rich Harden – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, “This is a great signing for Team X… if Harden can stay healthy.”
Francisco Cordero – The ultimate example of paying for saves while conveniently overlooking a rapidly declining strikeout rate, dwindling velocity and general knowledge of FIP and BABIP. It is pretty safe to say that you don’t want to end on this version of Team Coco.
Manny Ramirez – Manny being Manny. Steroids. Domestic Violence. Erectile dysfunction. Too… many… jokes…
J.D. Drew – But what position is he going to play? Oh, right, the disabled list. Bazinga!
Livan Hernandez – He doesn’t miss bats… or meals. He can really eat up innings… and cheeseburgers. But at least he’s only 36 years old… or 39… or 42.
Scott Kazmir – Sure, he throws 88 instead of 96 now and doesn’t throw his once killer slider at all anymore and lasted all of 1.2 innings into the 2011 season before the Angels released him, other than that, signing him should work out nicely.
Fernando Rodney – Some poor GM is going to look at his not terrible ERAs the last few seasons, factor in that he used to be a closer and decide to give him a big league deal and a prominent middle relief role. That GM will then pull his own hair out when he realizes that Fernando Rodney has no idea where the strike zone is and may not even be aware that it actually exists and that he won’t put his damned hat on straight.
Jason Varitek – Grit! He hasn’t hit over .232 in four years. Yeah, but leadership! He is going to turn 40 right after Opening day. Yeah, but, um, grit and leadership!
Apologies in advance to fans of any team that sign any of these players. Also, LOLz in advance.