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Phillies Sign Yuniesky Betancourt to Minor League Deal

Why? Why? Why?

Jamie Squire

Ruben Amaro Jr. seems to have three distinct goals for this offseason.

1. Flood the team with veteran presence (which comes with a free bottle of Aqua Velva for every player!);
2. Make the team as gritty and scrappy as possible; and
3. Make every fan hate him with the fire of a thousand exploding, universe consuming suns.

I can only assume that these are his goals and he is actively trying to accomplish them, because today Amaro went out and signed 30-year-old infielder Yuniesky Betancourt to a minor league contract. The contract includes an invitation to spring training with the big club. If he breaks camp with the Phillies, he'll make $1.4m.

Is Amaro trying to get fired? Because Yuniesky Betancourt blows. He hit .228/.256/.400 in 228 plate appearances with the Royals last year. His highest on base percentage was .310, which was back in the ancient times of 2006. His last semi-decent year was 2008, and since then his triple slash is .249/.275/.383. He's primarily a shortstop, though he's really not that good at it. I mean, Amaro's comment last week about not caring about walks but production is even funnier now in light of the Betancourt signing. He certainly won't get many walks with Betancourt. Of course, he won't get much production, either.

I could console myself with the fact that it's a minor league contract, which theoretically that means he'd play in the minors. But I can't console myself with that. Because all I can see are the floating ghost faces of Juan Pierre and Mike Fontenot, reminding me that they were both signed to minor league contracts, too. If you recall, they both played with the major league club a fair amount.

I just... I mean, why!? I can't fathom... Did he lose a bet? Did Amaro lose some kind of GM bet? And that's why he's signing Betancourt? Is he punishing the fans for something? Is he trying to complete "shitty unsigned MLBer" bingo? Has he been injured in his brain? Does he now think bad is good? Does he want to watch the franchise burn to the ground for his own amusement, cackling wildly and shrieking "LOOK UPON WHAT I HAVE CREATED! LOOK UPON IT AND WORSHIP ME!!!"

Last week, I started wishing for the Marlins to do something. Anything. Because it's nearly impossible for them to do something these days that isn't, at its core, ridiculous and worthy of ridicule. At this point, though, I don't think that even the Marlins can save the Phillies now.