What do the Orioles do with Betemit?

What do the Orioles do with Betemit?
October 18, 2012, 10:15 pm
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Baltimore Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit (24) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

(Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

The Orioles have a minor dilemma for next season. They have a contract with Wilson Betemit, and may not have much use for him.

Betemit will be paid $1.75 million. If Mark Reynolds returns, there’s not much use for Betemit. He could replace Reynolds or Manny Machado at third if either was hurt, but his defense isn’t very good.

The Orioles rushed Machado to the majors after they watched Betemit flail away at third base.

He had 376 plate appearances this season. If he has 324 more in 2013, his contract vests for 2014, and he’d be paid $3.2 million.

When the Orioles contemplate a utility infielder for next year, Robert Andino and Ryan Flaherty would be ahead of Betemit, who made 13 errors in 75 games at third.

The Orioles didn’t sign Betemit until late January, and though he missed most of the last two months with a right wrist injury, he played in 102 games, his most in seven years.

He’s a good hitter as a left-hander, batting .302. As a right-hander, he hit just .140. Eleven of his 12 home runs came against right-handers. As a DH, he’s blocked by either Chris Davis or Jim Thome, if he returns.

Betemit is probably best suited back in the National League, where he could be an effective pinch-hitter. With the Orioles, there’s little need for him now.