Mets fans, rejoice, and receive a gift that signals a team that’s in it to win it. Tossing aside the overworked Josh Hader, the Mets bring Dellin Betances aboard…
The Mets needed a catalyst beyond Seth Lugo to add to their bullpen. The Mets announced Tuesday Dellin Betances was moving a few miles east from the Bronx to Citi Field on a one-year deal that favors both sides.
According to a report by Dan Martin of the New York Post, Betances is “guaranteed $10.5 million — including a $3 million buyout in 2021, and it could be worth as much as $13.5 million if he exercises the ’21 option.
His 2020 base salary is $2.2 million, in addition to a $5.3 million signing bonus.”
Coming off an injury-plagued season, this is the high mark of what Betances could have expected, effective postponing his “real” free agency year to 2021, dependant on his performance with the Mets this season.
Mets make the smart move
Reports of the Mets competing for Milwaukee Brewers flame-throwing sensation Josh Hader never made sense for the Mets.
Given the propensity of fastball reliant relievers to burn-out quickly, especially given the number of innings Hader has pitched over the past two seasons, makes Betances, with effectively a full season off, a better choice.
Together with new Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, Carlos Beltran will need to figure out the best way to use Betances to get most production they can.
With the Yankees, Betances was the premier eighth-inning guy who came in to turn the game over to Aroldis Chapman.
Over nearly 360 game appearances, Betances has finished only 84 games, over which he has recorded a modest 36 saves. That would seem to suggest he has not been “trained” as a closer.
But with a new opportunity and the presence of Seth Lugo, it would seem the Mets can go either way or not make a closer choice at all, allowing game situations to dictate how each is used.
The only thing we need to know about Dellin Betances is he strikes out batters at a fantastic rate of 41.6%. That is what’s called a rally killer.
That’s thinking too far ahead, though. The immediate result is the Mets have a much better bullpen today than they did yesterday.
Now, Betances becomes yesterday’s news
And for that, Brodie Van Wagenen has earned a star next to his name in what has been a disappointing offseason for the Mets to date.
From here, Van Wagenen should be able to turn the focus of his attention away from the bullpen to explore possible trades that can add to the Mets’ arsenal of run producers.
In that arena, however, with potential blockbuster trades, a possibility, Van Wagenen will need the attention and dollars of Fred Wilpon.
Wondering why Fred Wilpon wouldn’t want to go out with a bang before dollars soaked Steve Cohen takes over, I wrote on yesterday.
Mets still have work to be done
A left side of the Mets infield with Nolan Arenado at third base, and Francisco Lindor at shortstop takes the team from a team in contention to a team to beat for the title in the NL East.
Both player’s teams (Rockies and Indians) are listening to offers, and competition is at its highest level.
As small market teams, they’ll soon (if not now) reach the point of no return with their ability to afford either Arenado or Lindor.
This means the offload of salaries is more of a factor than the return they get in a trade.
Still, for the Mets, they will need to face the possible loss of some combination involving Jeff McNeil, Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, J.D. David, and as a last resort, Noah Syndergaard.
The addition of Betances is a step forward in this direction. If it stops here, the Mets are still a better team than they were yesterday. But given the level of competition coming from the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals – more is needed.
In the meantime, nice going, Brodie.