A few more thoughts on the Betancourt trade...
1. I failed to mention that Betancourt's defense doesn't make up for his offensive liabilities. Defensive stats in baseball are still kind of rough, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around the really advanced ones. That doesn't mean they are not accurate or valuable, just that they're complex. But every defensive stat I've seen in reference to this trade makes Betancourt look like a below-average shortstop. I would feel better about acquiring a below-average hitter at a prime defensive position if he were actually an above-average fielder. But he's not.
2. Perhaps Dayton Moore thinks OBP stands for "Outs Batting Percentage" and therefore thinks a lower number is better. I hate to harp on this, but it's very frustrating for me because it is such a basic concept. You cannot score runs without players who get on base. And the Royals seemingly seek out players who cannot get on base. With Betancourt on board, the Royals could conceivably run out a lineup most days with three players who do not get on base even 30% of the time: Betancourt, Miguel Olivo, and Mike Jacobs. Of course, Moore got all three of these guys. Trey Hillman could also let Mitch Maier start in the outfield; that would give the Royals four guys who get on base less than 30% of the time. At least Moore didn't acquire him.
3. I always thought teams that were out of it by the All-Star Break were supposed to acquire prospects, not trade away a couple of them to fill a position that could have been filled for the remainder of the season by someone already on the roster. And what does it say about Betancourt that the Mariners, only 4.5 games out in their division this morning, traded away their starting shortstop for two minor leaguers who won't help them win this year? It tells me they were sick of him.