Betancourt happy to remain part of Rox's plans

Betancourt happy to remain part of Rox's plans

DENVER -- Rafael Betancourt was happy to be preparing for a Rockies game rather than packing Tuesday afternoon.

Betancourt's name surfaced in the Denver Post as a player the Rockies could move before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, with the Rangers, Angels, Rays, Blue Jays and Athletics as possible trading partners. But with Betancourt under a contract that guarantees him $4.5 million next season, plus a $4.25 million mutual option for 2014, the Rockies held a high asking price.

Betancourt, 37, believes what many club officials are saying, that the Rockies -- despite being on pace for their first 100-loss season in their 20-season history -- aren't far from winning. Betancourt hopes to be a part of a Colorado team with healthy pitching next season, and see if the club can return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

"Injuries are what's going on right now," Betancourt said. "If we get healthy, we've got the guys we need. We'll get Tulo [shortstop Troy Tulowitzki] back and we can do something. That's why I want to stay here.

"When you've got almost all your starting rotation hurt, you can't compete against most teams. Almost every team that we play in the National League has three good starting pitchers. I don't mean the other two are bad, but their front guys are really good. You have to have that."

Betancourt, who joined the Rockies in a trade with the Indians in late 2009, said a healthy Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Juan Nicasio could make a difference. De La Rosa hasn't pitched all year because of elbow surgery last year. Chacin struggled before going to the disabled list with a chest nerve injury in early May and didn't throw a rehab game until Sunday. Nicasio is out for the year with a knee injury suffered in early June.

Betancourt's contract does not give him the right to veto a trade, but he clearly did not want one. He said Rockies management kept him informed about trade possibilities. Now that a trade didn't occur, Betancourt hopes he can help the Rockies finish this season strong and feel like a contender going into 2013.

"I don't want to deal with this next year," Betancourt said. "I know we still have two months of this season so we can try to get everything together and it will be a different situation -- that we can try to get somebody. Move forward, man."

Betancourt (1-3, 2.92 ERA) has converted 17 of 21 save opportunities in a year of sporadic chances. Manager Jim Tracy also said Betancourt has been a leader among relief pitchers off the field, in addition to being an effective strike-thrower.

"He is an integral part of the fabric of our ballclub, especially the back end of our bullpen," Tracy said. "There's always a fit for a strike-throwing machine that's an incredible competitor."

Left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds also has been mentioned as a possible trade target, and catcher Ramon Hernandez and pinch-hitter Jason Giambi were veterans many felt could help a contending club. The only pre-deadline trade the Rockies made occurred Sunday, when they sent veteran second baseman Marco Scutaro to the Giants for 2007 supplemental first-round Draft pick Charlie Culberson, an infielder.

Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. The player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.