MLB Free Agency: Rafael Betancourt returning to the Rockies?


Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Betancourt will be 38 years old this season. He will miss much of the season due to Tommy John surgery but is still hoping to pitch in 2014.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that Betancourt and the Rockies are talking about a deal and that there’s a good chance the former closer returns to Colorado.

"There is a ‘good chance’ that free agent reliever Rafael Betancourt re-signs with the Colorado Rockies, according to an industry source close to the situation. The source notes that Betancourt would prefer to go back to Colorado because of his “great” relationship with the team, but the sides are “trying to figure out the timing with his rehab” from Tommy John surgery before striking a deal."

Other teams have expressed interest in Betancourt. If he chose, he could wait until the season is underway and then field calls from contending teams. That apparently is not his priority, however, and that would certainly be the indication if he signed a deal with the Rockies anytime soon.

Besides the timing, the Rockies would have to figure out Betancourt’s role in the bullpen. The team signed LaTroy Hawkins this off-season and still has Rex Brothers as the eventual answer in the closer’s role. Presumably Betancourt knows he would have to pitch as a set-up man and earn the nod in high-leverage situations with his performance upon returning.

After taking over the role in 2012, Betancourt converted 47 of 57 save opportunities.