The Orioles have signed DH/3B Wilson Betemit to a two year deal worth $3 million with a $3 million vesting option for 2014.
On the same day the Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a ridiculously stupid 9 year, $214 million contract the Orioles sign who will probably end up being their primary DH. I would’ve liked to have seen Fielder here, but I think we can all agree hes not worth what he got and the O’s had no reason to top it. Betemit is a guy that has played all four infield positions and can give you innings at first, second, and third in a pinch but his best tool is his bat. Last year he followed up the 2010 season (when he had a .889 OPS over 315 plate appearances) with a line of .285/.343/.452 with 22 doubles, 4 triples, 8 homeruns, 46 RBI, and 4 stolen bases over 359 plate appearances split between the Royals and Tigers. As a switch hitter he is more effective from the left side of the plate (.817 career OPS against RHP, .684 against LHP) so he’ll get most of the at bats from the DH slot against righties with, I assume, one of Mark Reynolds/Nolan Reimold/Jai Miller being the DH against left handed starters. Betemit’s vesting option guarantees him a third year after 700 plate appearances. That doesn’t appear that hard to reach but it allows the Orioles to release him before then if hes not performing up to their expectations. The 2012 Orioles are starting to come together. There could be another minor signing or two and maybe a trade before spring training but I wouldn’t expect any big shake ups at this point, to the dismay of alot of fans I’m sure. We’ve improved. By how much remains to be seen.