Talk about an early Christmas gift for the bullpen.
The New York Mets agreed to terms with free-agent reliever Dellin Betances, as first reported by SNY’s Andy Martino. It’s a one-year deal with a player option for the 2021 season and could be worth as much as $13.5 million if Betances returns for that second season, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
He will be guaranteed $10.5 million.
Betances spent the first eight major-league seasons of his career with the Yankees, developing into one of the top relievers in the game.
The four-time All-Star boasts a dominant five-year stretch from 2014-2018 where he posted a 2.22 ERA with 607 strikeouts in 373.1 innings of work. That’s an astounding 14.6 punchouts-per-nine-innings average.
For the New York native, the move from the Bronx to Queens is a welcomed one.
“I love New York,” Betances said. “I grew up in Manhattan. Went to high school in Brooklyn. Played minor-league ball in Staten Island. Made it to the big leagues in the Bronx. Now, I’m excited to go win a World Series with the Mets in Queens. Thanks to Fred and Jeff [Wilpon], Brodie [Van Wagenen], and all the other Mets staff who worked so hard to make possible this next step in my New York journey. Merry ChristMets! Let’s Go METS!”
Betances will have plenty to prove upon his arrival at Citi Field. The 31-year-old righty pitched just two-thirds of an innings last season after suffering a lat injury and a partially torn Achilles.
However, the prospect of his presence within the Mets bullpen is an enormous acquisition for an organization that has failed to get consistent production from its relievers last year.
Edwin Diaz — brought in last season to be a shutdown closer — had his worst professional season while the Mets were stuck with a revolving carousel of middle relievers that were largely ineffective. That included the returning Jeurys Familia, who did little to provide stability in the later innings.
A healthy Betances would provide the Mets with a solid core in the bullpen if Diaz can rebound and Seth Lugo can continue his run of good form in relief.