Infielder Yuniesky Betancourt agreed Wednesday to a $900,000, one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, rejoining the team he helped to win the 2011 NL Central title.
The 31-year-old was in spring training with Philadelphia on a minor-league contract and batted .447 in 18 games while mostly playing shortstop. The Phillies already have All-Stars all around their infield and released Betancourt on Sunday.
Betancourt played 152 games for the Brewers in 2011 and hit .310 in the postseason. He batted .228 with seven homers and 36 RBI with Kansas City last year.
In addition to his base salary, Betancourt can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses for games: $25,000 each for 50, 60, 70 and 80; $50,000 apiece for 90, 100, 110 and 120; and $100,000 each for 130 and 140.
Happ extends contract
Pitcher J.A. Happ and the Toronto Blue Jays have reached a deal that adds another season to the contract he signed in January.
The Blue Jays said Wednesday that Happ will get $5.2 million in 2014, with a club option in 2015 for $6.7 million.
Happ and the Blue Jays agreed to a one-year deal on Jan. 18 for $3.7 million this season.
The left-hander went a combined 10-11 with a 4.79 ERA in 28 games last year for Houston and Toronto. He is 35-35 lifetime with a 4.19 ERA in six seasons with Philadelphia, the Astros and Blue Jays.
Happ has a 1.90 ERA in seven appearances this spring.
Booty leaves training
The Arizona Diamondbacks released Josh Booty, who had earned an invitation to the team’s spring training by winning a televised knuckleball competition among former college quarterbacks.
“The Next Knuckler” competition was held on MLB Network, with Booty beating out his brother John David Booty, Doug Flutie, David Greene and Ryan Perrilloux.
Josh Booty has major-league experience, playing 13 games for the Marlins from 1996-98. He also played quarterback at LSU.
Puig heads to minors
The Los Angels Dodgers decided spring sensation Yasiel Puig is not ready for prime time quite yet. The 22-year-old Cuban outfielder was optioned to Double-A Chattanooga despite a .526 spring average that ranks first in the majors (Cactus or Grapefruit League).
Shortstop Dee Gordon was also optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque, trimming the Dodgers’ roster to 36 one day before they will break camp in Arizona.
“I told him he had a great camp. I told him he didn’t do anything wrong,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s organizationally what we think is best for him now and for the long term. We think this guy’s got a chance to be a really, really good player. He’s done nothing wrong in camp but there are areas that need improving.”
Mets hopeful on Marcum
The New York Mets are hoping ailing Shaun Marcum is feeling well enough to start April 7, the sixth game of the season.
Marcum has not pitched in a spring training game since March 16. The newcomer complained of neck discomfort during a bullpen session Monday and is taking anti-inflammatory medication.
Marcum missed a start last week because of a shoulder impingement that required a cortisone injection. He has a 4.66 ERA this spring in 9?? innings.
The Mets open at home on Monday against San Diego.
On disabled list
Arizona Diamondbacks utility player Willie Bloomquist will start the season on the disabled list. The team says an MRI on Wednesday showed a grade 2 right oblique strain. There is no timetable for his return. Center fielder Adam Eaton is out with an arm injury that could sideline him for six to eight weeks. Right fielder Cody Ross has a calf strain. ... New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes is recovering from two bulging discs suffered Feb. 18 and joins the disabled list, a group that already includes Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. ... Cardinals third baseman David Freese (back) will start the season on the DL. ... Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Christian Garcia expects to be cleared to begin throwing on Monday. Garcia is on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm tendon injury.
Around the league
An arbitration court in the Dominican Republic has ordered Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to pay 22 percent of the value of his contract with the Oakland Athletics to the former agent who helped secure the deal. The lawyer for former agent Edgar Mercedes says that amounts to $7.9 million owed to his client. ... Marlins second baseman Donovan Solana, sidelined for a week with a sore back, was scheduled to play in a minor-league game Wednesday. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway was optioned to Triple A and right-hander Anthony Carter and right-hander Jose De La Torre were reassigned to minor-league camp. ...The Baltimore Orioles reassigned their No. 1 draft choice from last year, Kevin Gausman to minor-league camp.