Betancourt, Marquis Offered Arbitration

December 1, 2009 | 9:18 am | 17  

Right-handed pitchers Rafael Betancourt and Jason Marquis have been offered arbitration by the Rockies.

The two players have until Monday to decide whether to accept the offer. Betancourt might take the Rockies up on their offer, but indications are Marquis will reject arbitration.

The Rockies decided against offering arbitration to catcher Yorvit Torrealba and left-handed reliever Joe Beimeil.

The Rockies figure it is a no-lose situation.

They want to retain Betancourt so if he accepted arbitration he will be considered a signed player, and the Rockies expect Betancourt’s price in arbitration will be less than the $5 million option they declined.

If Betancourt, a Type A free agent, declines arbitration, the Rockies will continue to try and sign him, but if he signs with another team they will receive either the first or second round draft choice of the signing team, contingent upon the team’s record in 2009, and also a compensation pick between the first and second round.

Marquis is a Type B free agent. By offering him arbitration the Rockies will receive a compensation pick if he signs with another team. The fact the signing team does not lose a draft choice of its own means teams will not shy away from signing Marquis even though he has been offered arbitration.

Marquis is seeking a multi-year contract, which makes it unlikely he would accept arbitration, which would limit the Rockies to a one-year obligation.

Adjustments in the arbitration rules for free agents makes the deadlines for offering and accepting less of an issue. In the past, if a team did not offer a player arbitration or if the player declined arbitration, the team was unable to re-sign a player until after May 15.

Under the new guidelines, teams can continue to negotiate with a player whether there is an arbitration offer or not.

That means the Rockies can continue to not only talk to Betancourt and Marquis, but also Torrealba and Beimel.

The Giants and Blue Jays have both shown interest in Torrealba, although the Giants could withdraw from the talks if catcher Bengie Molina accepts the arbitration offer the Giants will make him. Molina is a Type A free agent.



  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 1, 2009 | 9:59 am

    Hmm, gutsy call on Marquis. There’s some risk there for a supplemental pick. Should he find the opening of the FA market lacking, the likely $10+ million arb award would be a nice fallback. He has to accept arb by Dec 7, right? That’s the thing working in the team’s favor–Marquis would have to give up on the multi-yr deal before the market really gets going.

    TOTH, an unexpected $10M would surely push the budget a little, and maybe push the Rockies into a situation a la the Braves in 2003, when Maddux unexpectedly accepted arb and created ripples for the rest of their off-season.

  • Shack | December 1, 2009 | 10:53 am

    There is absolutely nothing to lose by offering Betancourt arbitration. My guess is that teams are going to shy away from him because not only are they going to have to give him a 2-year deal in the $3.5-$5 million per year range, but they also have to give up one of their top draft picks. There was a player last year (although I can’t remember the player’s name) who was under a similar situation. He ended up rejecting arbitration and didn’t sign with a team (the Royals perhaps?!?) until spring training was well underway. He also ended up signing for less money than he would have received in arbitration.

  • Marcus | December 1, 2009 | 11:22 am

    I was going to help you out with the name schack, however, I can’t seem to think of it. He was a reliever with the D-Backs and then the Royals signed him. Good move regarding Betancourt.

  • Jack Etkin | December 1, 2009 | 11:27 am


    The player was Juan Cruz, a relief pitcher who like Betancourt was a Type A free agent. Cruz made $1.94 M with the D’backs in 2008 and in late February, with camps well underway, he signed a two-year deal with an option with the Royals. Cruz’s deal got him salaries of $2.25M in 2009, $3.25 M in 2010 and a club option on a $4M salary in 2011 with a $500K buyout.

  • Ryan | December 1, 2009 | 11:44 am

    I’m not sure I understand the Rockies’ disinterest in Beimel. Last year he was a guy in the center of the team’s free agency target; now it seems like they want nothing to do with him. I was hoping someone could shed some light on this. As a pretty rare, effective left-handed reliever it seems Beimel is still coming pretty cheap on the market. Plus, I think the Rockies will need someone like him late in the season, especially if the team expects Morales and Flores to be the left-handed answers out of the bullpen. Thoughts?

  • Curt in Florida | December 1, 2009 | 12:14 pm

    I didn’t think Beimel was all that effective for the Rockies. He came over with a reputation as a tough guy for lefthand hitters, but seemed to give up several big hits (assume they are all big when he is in the game, always in late innings, always in a close game) to lefties.

    The Marquis arbitration offer surprised me, particularly since he could cost them a cool $10 million, which I do not believe he is worth. The good news is that if he does accept (not that likely) he will again be a fallback position for the starting staff. At the worst, he could be very tradable, even at his high salary, possibly for a prospect or a player to fill a mid-season need. You let him go for nothing, you get nothing. Bottom line is that I think Marquis will sign elsewhere for at least two years. He’s healthy and eats innings, unlike several bigger-name pitchers on the FA market like Ben Sheets, Brad Penny and Oliver Perez. At $10MM he’s also cheaper than those guys.

  • Cesar Carvajal | December 1, 2009 | 12:48 pm

    I was expecting an offer for Torrealba. I think he could help the team a lot

  • TexasSteve | December 1, 2009 | 7:48 pm


    Torrealba is trying to parlay a five week hot streak into a multi-year, four to five million dollar per season payday. He’s not worth anywhere near that much money. Yorvit is a very nice backup catcher but that’s about it. Sure I’d like the Rockies to have him as insurance for Chris but not for anymore than $1mm to 1.5mm per season and only for the 2010 campaign. If he wants more let him walk.

  • Agbayani | December 1, 2009 | 8:38 pm

    Good call, everyone, on Betancourt. Guys like him really get the short end of the stick in free agency. Since his value to the Rockies is obviously higher than his value to any other club (in that the Rockies can re-sign him without losing anything), there’s a strong incentive there to reach a deal. And I’m hoping that happens.

    I also don’t understand the total lack of interest in Beimel. He did exactly what the Rockies could have expected of him. No, he’s not a dominating lefty-killer. But if I’m not mistaken, didn’t the Rockies sign Randy Flores to a major league deal? Why? I think he was an NRI last spring, and he didn’t exactly do anything to improve his value with a pretty crappy combined minor league-major league season last year. He’s not useless, but he’s pretty much the definition of “replacement level” or “freely available talent,” or whatever you want to call it.

  • snel7083 | December 2, 2009 | 6:05 am

    Have the Rockies sign Dan O yet?

  • maron | December 2, 2009 | 1:17 pm

    Beimel,is one of the free agent life handers that has an era below 4:00 for the past 5 years..He has appeared in an average of 70 games per year..He is durable,strong and is well seasoned and a real asset to any team..His make up could lead him to be a very good closer,if givien the chance…

  • Cesar Carvajal | December 2, 2009 | 7:07 pm

    TexasSteve, thanks for the clarification. I didn’t know how much was Torrealba asking. And you’re absolutely right

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 3, 2009 | 10:19 am

    Beimel: If they offer arb and he accepts, he’ll get a raise on his $2M salary. That doesn’t sound like much until you sit down with the Rockies roster and try to stick to a budget of $75M or so (they’re said to want to stick close to 2009 payroll levels). They have Morales for the pen, with Flores as cheap depth, Matt Reynolds as a promotion possibility for 2010. Between that and the way Tracy used Beimel the last month, it makes sense that they don’t see him as a guy worth spending $2-3M on.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 3, 2009 | 10:20 am

    Interesting tweet from Jon Heymann:

    “marquis had falling out over his reaction to him not getting playoff start. so he isnt expected to accept arb.”

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 4, 2009 | 1:46 pm

    Ken Rosenthal reports that both Marquis and O’Dowd deny the report of any “falling out” or bad feelings. Excerpt:

    “There was no falling out,” O’Dowd said. “He was extremely professional about it. It wasn’t an issue at all.”

    Marquis echoed O’Dowd’s remarks.

    “I’ve traded messages with Dan, thanking him for everything,” Marquis said. “Everything ended well. I would have zero problems going back there.”

  • Rich M | December 9, 2009 | 1:54 pm

    The Beimel question is a good one. I was hoping they would sign him last year before he signed on with the Nationals (story is the Rockies ran out of money). The Rockies really need more experienced lefty depth in the pen besides Morales and Flores. There must be something about Beimel that the Rockies aren’t disclosing, because in my view they really need him. And $2.0m to $2.5m per year or so would seem to be about right?

  • Karl | December 9, 2009 | 1:55 pm

    Does anyone know if Iannetta or Torrealba would be available to play first base as a back up to Helton? Not sure if they have ever played the field before. Well ok, I do remember Iannetta at 3rd in 2008 when Tulo went down in the Giants game. But other than that believe that is it. I understand not wanting to lose a catcher to injury but what if they kept three on their roster? Perhaps Phillips would be the 3rd then?