Dellin Betances, among baseball’s most dominant relievers when healthy, has reportedly agreed to terms with the New York Mets, according to SNY’s Andy Martino. The deal is for one-year that includes two player options, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The hard-throwing righty missed nearly all of 2019 with the New York Yankees while dealing with shoulder issues, then partially tore his Achilles tendon when he finally returned to the mound for two-thirds of an inning in September.
While the injury-riddled season could not have come at a worse time for Betances, the four-time All-Star is expected to make a full recovery in time for spring training after opting for rehab instead of surgery.
He will join a Mets bullpen that finished 25th in baseball with a 4.95 ERA last season and could slide into the setup role along with Seth Lugo.
Betances’ most productive years were 2014-16, when he led all MLB relievers with 392 strikeouts and 247 innings as the Yankees’ setup man. His most recent All-Star appearance came in 2017, and by the end of 2018 he had become the first reliever in MLB history with five consecutive 100-strikeout seasons.
Whether or not Betances rediscovers that level of success at age 32 remains to be seen, especially after his fastball velocity in last year’s lone relief appearance was nearly 3 miles per hour slower than his average heater from the previous season.
The Mets, though, are paying for Betances’ floor, which is arguably the highest in a bullpen market this winter that also includes Drew Pomeranz and Sergio Romo.
Betances, who boasts a stellar 2.36 ERA and .170 batting average against for his career, has traditionally relied on a blazing fastball coupled with a devastating curveball as his primary two-pitch mix.
The Manhattan native debuted for his hometown team in 2011, but did not become a full-time reliever for the Yankees until 2014.
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