Mets Sign Reliever Dellin Betances

Pitcher Spent Entire Career With Yankees

Alec Gearty
December 24, 2019 - 1:16 pm

Dellin Betances is staying in New York. He's just heading across town to Queens. 

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According to SNY's Andy Martino, Betances has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Mets. Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was rumored to have had interest in the former Yankees reliever after he became an unrestricted free agent. 

" I love New York," Betances said in a statement, via Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. "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."

Betances missed the majority of the 2019 season as he dealt with a low-grade lat strain. During his season debut, Betances suffered a partial tear of his Achilles tendon in his lone appearance, essentially ending his tenure as a Yankee. 

The Mets, in desperate need to revamp their bullpen, always seemed like a logical destination. A four-time All Star, Betances' resume made him one of the top relievers on the market. He attracted the attention of the Phillies and Dodgers, who were reportedly among the "most aggressive" to sign the 31-year-old, according to The New York Post's Joel Sherman

Van Wagenen put a special emphasis on making drastic changes to his pitching staff. He inked veterans Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello in early December. He chose to bring Brad Brach back to the bullpen, which consists the likes of Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo. 

"Their bullpen, on paper, looks fantastic," WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman told Joe Benigno. "Lugo is one of the best relievers in baseball last year. Obviously, Betances is very talented. His timing hurt him but I thought he did well considering all of the injuries he had last year ... He wanted to stay in the East Coast, I think the Dodgers were interested but he likes the idea of being a Met. 

In 2019, the Mets had the sixth-worst ERA among major league clubs (4.95). Diaz tallied 26 saves in his first season in New York, but he ultimately lost his closer role as he blew his save opportunity on seven separate occasions — tied for third most in the National League. 

Mets fans could thank Van Wagenen for hauling in the once dominant reliever, but Betances' deal comes in wake of Yoenis' Cespedes' drastic salary cut. Cespedes was set to make roughly $29.5 million in 2020 until the Mets opted to amend his contract, reducing the outfielder's salary to $6 million.

"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," Betances said. "Merry ChristMets! Let's Go METS!"