Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly interested in Yuniesky Betancourt, because someone has to be.
With the St. Louis Cardinals' lack of interest in Ronny Cedeno at an apparent all-time high, the gods of baseball have seen fit to bless us with a new rumor about a veteran shortstop who might not be better than Pete Kozma. Enter: Yuniesky Betancourt! That's the Yuniesky Betancourt who might be the worst regular in baseball; who hasn't been above Baseball Reference's replacement level since 2007; who, like Cedeno, has the faint tinge of a clubhouse pariah and malingerer hanging about him, in addition to the faint tinge of a .275 OBP over the last four seasons.
Ronny Cedeno is not a very good baseball player; Yuniesky Betancourt is a bad baseball player. Like Cedeno, in fact, he's a bad baseball player currently playing himself off another major league team; the Phillies signed him in February, whereupon our colleagues at The Good Phight defended him by writing a post in which they emphatically denied he was the Anti-Christ.
Yuniesky Betancourt is not the answer at shortstop. The nicest thing there is to say about him is that FanGraphs, at least, has him above replacement level in 2010 and 2011 (but not 2012), and that at 30 he's successfully bounced back from his famous 2009 season, in which he hit like Brendan Ryan and played defense like Brendan Ryan was hanging from his back.
This rumor comes to us via Nick Cafardo, who says he's "on the Cardinals' list" but thankfully fails to explain what list that is. It could just be a list of players with a higher slugging percentage in 2012 than Ty Wigginton.