Betancourt, Marquis Offered Arbitration
Right-handed pitchersand 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.