Wilson Betemit isn’t the most well-known trade chip on the Kansas City roster. But he may be the most likely to go before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The Brewers, unsatisfied with their production at third base, have talked with the Royals about acquiring Betemit, major-league sources told FOXSports.com.
Betemit, 29, has played all four infield positions during his nine-year career, but now he’s viewed primarily as a corner infielder. A switch hitter, Betemit has a respectable .835 OPS in 140 games over the past two seasons.
Betemit’s playing time has decreased sharply since star prospect Mike Moustakas became the Royals’ everyday third baseman. But Betemit batted .306 during April and May, when he was playing more regularly.
Since Betemit will become a free agent after this season – and because Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are anchored at the infield corners – Royals general manager Dayton Moore is willing to move Betemit in the right deal, sources say. With Casey McGehee mired in a season-long slump, Milwaukee appears to be the most interested suitor.
An even greater number of teams are interested in the Royals’ veteran outfielders, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, but there is no great urgency for Moore to trade either. Cabrera isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until after next year, and the Royals hold a mutual option on Francoeur’s services for 2012.
The Royals are more apt to keep Francoeur, because of the positive effect he’s had on their younger position players.
The Phillies and Angels are among the teams that have shown interest in Cabrera, although he is only one of many hitters under consideration by each club.
Cabrera could fill the Angels’ need for a left-handed hitter. A switch hitter, his numbers are better against right-handed pitching.
The Giants have light interest in Cabrera, sources say, and are more intrigued by Beltran.
— Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal