Well, we can’t have everything, I guess. SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Dellin Betances and the New York Mets have agreed to a deal:
ESPN’s Jeff Passan corroborated the report, saying that it is a one-year deal with two player options. Here are the financial details, per Passan:
I’ll come out and just say it: this just sucks. There may be baseball reasons to move on from Betances — the injury, payroll concerns, etc. — but the dude has been one of my favorite players for a long time. It’s weird to think that the Yanks dugout will no longer include CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, and Didi Gregorius in 2020. It’s just a weird thing. Baseball, man. I’m glad the Yankees signed Cole, about as glad as I can be short of a World Series, I cannot believe both Dellin and Didi signed one year deals with teams not named the Yankees. I get it from a baseball perspective, but it still sucks from an emotional standpoint. It just does.
Anyway, Betances had a sterling career with the Bombers, who drafted him in the 8th Round of the 2006 draft. Originally a starter, Betances became one of baseball’s very best relievers, pitching to a 2.36 ERA (2.31 FIP, 57 ERA-) in eight separate seasons for New York. From 2014-2018, though he really shined. I mean, check out Betances’ stats from 2014-18 in key areas, with league rankings among 273 qualified relievers in parentheses:
- ERA: 2.22 (8th)
- FIP: 2.26 (4th)
- Strikeouts per 9: 14.63 (3rd)
- Strikeout percentage: 40.3% (4th)
- Home Runs per 9: 0.60 (29th)
- Innings Pitched: 373.1 (1st)
- Average Leverage Index When Entering Game: 1.44 (44th)
- fWAR: 11.3 (2nd)
The guy was an absolute, absolute stud. One of the sturdiest and nastiest relievers in all of baseball when he was on, walk problems be damned. Plus, he seemed like a great dude who was well-liked by his teammates. I will miss rooting for him.
I hope for his sake that he returns in Spring Training as healthy and effective as ever and is able to cash in on a huge payday after declining his player option after the season. His injuries really stopped him from collecting the contract he deserved. As I’ve said before, Betances, who was one of the best players in baseball for several seasons, is a shining example of the problems with baseball’s economic structure — he over-performed his value to the Yankees for half a decade and may never reap the rewards.
Anyway, it’s Christmas Eve today so I’m not going into much more detail now. We’ll have more thoughts on this in the days to come, obviously.
For now, I’ll leave you with this: