This offseason’s spin through the arbitration process was Betances’ first. The righty is coming off a terrific season in which he posted a 3.08 ERA with 3.5 BB/9 and a remarkable 15.5 K/9 over 73 innings, mowing down hitters with a high-90s fastball and a terrific breaking ball. He’s accumulated 21 saves over the last two seasons and would appear to be a candidate for future success as a closer, although he didn’t fare well in that role late last season. The Yankees, of course, re-acquired Aroldis Chapman this winter, meaning they won’t need Betances in the ninth inning going forward unless there’s an injury. As Heyman tweets, the $5MM salary Betances had hoped for would have set a precedent, since numbers that high typically aren’t given to relievers who aren’t closers.
Betances and the Yankees had discussed a multi-year deal this winter, but GM Brian Cashman told Dan Martin of the New York Post that there was a gulf between the two sides about what Betances should receive. The Yankees instead went with a “file-and-trial” approach with Betances, declining to negotiate with him once the two sides exchanged arbitration figures.