In a surprise move late Monday, the Orioles inked supersub Wilson Betemit. On Monday, it was announced that Betemit's contract was a guaranteed two year deal for $2.75 million total with a vesting option for a third year worth $3.25 million on its own. According to the AP, the third year vests with 700 plate appearances over the first two years of the contract. To create the roster space for Betemit, the Orioles parted ways with the Dutch flyball artist VandenHurk over whom no ink has been spilled as of yet.
Aaron Gleeman, HardballTalk: Betemit is expected to be the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and that might seem like a stretch at first glance, but he’s hit a combined .290 with 21 homers and an .838 OPS in 181 games during the past two seasons. His career has been limited by the lack of a clear home defensively, but when given a chance for regular playing time Betemit has almost always hit well and at the very least the switch-hitter would be a nice part-time player for $1.5 million per season.
Josh Land, Carroll County Times: For much of last season, the Baltimore Orioles were hindered by having several one-dimensional players clogging up key positions and the bench. This year, new executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has put an emphasis on changing that and improving the club's ability to get on base. The Orioles' latest acquisition provides help in both areas, as the team signed the versatile Wilson Betemit Tuesday.
Daniel Moroz, Camden Crazies: The signing seems like OK value, but giving at bats to an older guy without too much upside doesn't seem like what should be Plan A for the Orioles in 2012. Maybe if Betemit plays well, the O's can get something for him at the trade deadline, I guess.
Adam Bernacchio, MLB Daily Dish: Betemit can't field a lick, but the guy is a switch-hitter who can hit. Over the past two seasons, Betemit has posted a .191 ISO, 10 percent BB Percentage, and 21 HR's in 674 PA's, so that's a pretty good sample size of what the guy could do if given the opportunity. [This was actually posted in a Jan. 9 column on "buy low" free agents.]