Brewers decline contract options on Betancourt and RodriguezWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers have declined contract options for next year on reliever Francisco Rodriguez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Both became free agents, although it’s possible the Brewers could re-sign Betancourt for a lower salary.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers have declined contract options for next year on reliever Francisco Rodriguez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Both became free agents, although it’s possible the Brewers could re-sign Betancourt for a lower salary.
K-Rod had a $17.5 million mutual option for next year. The Brewers were expected to let him go, after he was used as a set-up man instead of his previous role as a closer. Rodriguez will get a four-million-dollar buy-out. Betancourt had a six-million-dollar club option for next year, with a buy-out of two-million. He had the second-lowest on-base percentage among National League hitters who qualified for the batting title at .271. Betancourt also had the third-highest number of errors among NL shortstops with 21. But he had the second-highest number of RBI's for a National League shortstop with 68, and he hit .310 in the playoffs with six RBI’s.
A list of 148 Major League free agents was released yesterday. The team has exclusive negotiating rights until 11:01 on Wednesday night, and then the players can sign with any team. Milwaukee's other free agents are Prince Fielder, Craig Counsell, Jerry Hairston Jr., Mark Kotsay, Takashi Saito, and LaTroy Hawkins.
The "Field of Dreams" will be preserved, after a purchase offer has been signed for the famous movie property. Former Brewers' pitcher Ken Sanders and his real estate firm had initially wanted five-point-four million dollars for Don and Becky Lansing's farm near Dyersville, Iowa where the 1989 baseball classic was filmed. Yesterday, the Lansings said Mike and Denise Stillman agreed to buy the 193-acre farm -- which is about 25 miles west of the Wisconsin-Iowa border. The final price was not disclosed. The Lansings' kept the field just as it was in the movie, and thousands of people still visit the site and play ball there. Sanders ran a fantasy camp there. He said hundreds of people expressed an interest in the property. The movie site will remain the same, but the Stillmans will develop a baseball and softball tournament facility elsewhere on the land. The site will be called "All-Star Baseball Heaven," and the Stillmans' business group is called "Go the Distance Baseball."