The Yankees and reliever Dellin Betances entered their arbitration hearing Friday in agreement that the right-hander should not be treated like a closer, a source told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, but they weren’t able to find common ground elsewhere. The club argued that Betances didn’t deserve more than the $3MM it had offered because, for one, he had lost a battle for the closer’s job to then-Yankee Andrew Miller in 2015, per the source. New York also pointed to Betances’ defensive woes – he committed three throwing errors and allowed a 100 percent success rate on 21 stolen base attempts last season – and even placed some blame on him for a decline in ticket sales in 2016.
After the Yankees traded Miller to Cleveland on July 31, Betances took over as the Bombers’ closer and followed a pristine August with a rough September. Betances allowed 10 earned runs on 11 hits and eight walks over the final full month of the season, during which the Yankees went 14-14 and officially fell out of the playoff race. The Yankees argued that Betances’ problems down the stretch helped lead to losses, thereby aiding in their drop from first in American League ticket sales from 2002-15 to second a year ago. As preposterous as that sounds, the Yankees nonetheless managed to defeat Betances in the hearing.
The two sides’ dispute took a particularly ugly turn when team president Randy Levine sparked a war of words after the Yankees’ victory. Here’s more on their fight:
- Dating back to his breakout season in 2014, Betances has tossed 247 innings – at least 14 more than any other major league reliever. However, in light of Levine’s comments, Betances suggested Saturday that he might not be as willing to serve as a workhorse for the Yankees anymore. “Some of the stuff they said in that room, they value me as an eighth-inning guy. Is it selfish of me to say now, ‘Hey, guys, I just want to come in for the eighth inning with no runners on?’’’ Betances told reporters, including George A. King III of the New York Post. “That’s not the player I am. I go out there and try to battle with my teammates, but now you go in that room and you see some of that stuff, do you put yourself at risk at all times? It’s fair for me to say that.’’ One of Betances’ friends and teammates, left-hander C.C. Sabathia, chalked Betances’ comments up to the “heat of the moment,” telling King that the 28-year-old “is a smart kid and will be able to separate this and try to help this team win games.’’
- Given what transpired between the Yankees and Betances on Saturday, it’s time for Major League Baseball to at least change the arbitration process for relievers, opines FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Although the industry no longer regards saves as the end-all, be-all when valuing relievers, arbiters continue to place too much emphasis on the statistic. In addition to leading all relievers in innings since 2014, Betances is third in strikeout rate and fifth in ERA, yet one obvious reason he lost in arbitration is because he only has 22 career saves. Rosenthal proposes developing a statistical model to replace the current arbitration system, which features a panel of judges and has been in place since 1974, though he concedes that major changes probably aren’t coming.
- Nicolas Stellini of FanGraphs offers a sentiment similar to Rosenthal’s view, arguing that arbitration’s opinion of relievers is “bad for baseball” because it doesn’t properly reward great production from non-closers. Thus, elite setup men like Betances who aren’t on long-term deals have little incentive to overwork themselves before securing sizable paydays. As for Levine, Stellini observes that he “handicapped the franchise for no obvious gain.”
How is he the crybaby when the Yankees president gloated about saving 2 million dollars?
Your team president doesn’t float about saving 2 million dollars because he would be doing it every month. The Muttons lead the league in Cheapness.
So Levine did it…why? What is the brilliant Yankee plan behind showing up one of your best (and heavily used) RPs? Waiting to hear it…
You obviously haven’t been following this story, he said that his plead for 5m served no purpose in reality.
Not a Yankee fan and it seems to me that Levine felt there was no reason for a hearing and it was forced on the Yankees by an agent with an agenda other than what was best for his client.
So what? That’s no reason to show up your player after winning the arb. It was the management equivalent of the Bautista bat flip. Hope Levine gets the same thank you for it that the Rangers 2B gave Bautista.
I thought the comments were more aimed at the representation than the player, but whatever.
Typical Giants “fan”
The only cry baby is yourself for not being quite smart enough to understand that Betances has every right in the world to be pissed off at the team. Grow up little kid and leave the sports to the adults
To the adults who are whining like little kids?
This society is doomed.
Too many trophies.
Get off our collective lawns.
Oh…no room for your parent’s helicopter to land. Sorry. My bad.
Too many trophies? You know people who say stuff like that are the real idiots. This is a labor/contract matter. Nothing to do with rich parents. Go be angry on Facebook.
What “trophies” are you talking about?
You wouldn’t know a trophy if it bit you in the a – s. Even Citifield celebrates more Brooklyn Dodgers stuff than Mets memorabilia. Your team has 30 years of silence.
Why he is a reliever
He isn’t even a left handed reliever
Because he’s dominant out of the pen? In 2015 he went through may before even giving up an earned run and logged 100+ strikeouts in each season since 2014. Betances is a beast.
lmao!!! true, and he can’t even throw to first, lol, he is a nervous nelly!!
Plus, I can steal off of him!!
i’m guessing not.
The system definitely needs to be updated , but the biggest issue here is LEVINE !! he’s by far the worst and most poisonist entity on the whole Yankee org. His mouth has been a very bad reflection of the team since I’ve been following them. They need to put a muzzle on that jerk. Don’t you think he could’ve come across a different way and avoided this whole situation ? I do Levine’s got to go. They shut Hank s Mouth , Halls brother up years ago because of the same stuff. they have to find a way to keep Levine’s mouth shut
Agreed! Randy looked better when he played the Boss’ alter ego
Agree levine should not be allowed to open his mouth in front of reporters.
Send him to the Braves if you guys think he’s trash! We’ll welcome him with open arms.
Nobody thinks that. 99% of Yankees fans want Levine fired.
You guys must be missing the good ol’ days of the Evil Empire. At least then they had no problems with paying for talent. 😉
But I agree with most posters that Levine was totally unprofessional with his actions after this incident. If he has a history of being an a**, then why is he still employed by the Yanks?
Who knows but he needs to be fired.
The reason their ticket sales went down is because they traded some good players. Blaming it on Betances makes no sense.
Sales were down before the trades as well.
Is fan attendance really a criterion in arbitration proceedings? I understand how it can be a free agent incentive clause (see Jose Bautista’s recent contract) but it seems silly to me to use in arbitration for or against an individual player’s salary determination.
I’m a huge Yankees fan and I’ll tell you that ticket sales are down for two reasons. One, the new stadium priced out almost all of the regular lunch pail fans like me that supported the team (in my case) since 1983. They priced us out for corporate clients who have bigger wallets. Problem is that the economy is sideways and companies don’t want to eat several of the 81 home games any more than I do.
Second issue is that Girardi did an outstanding job getting winning seasons out of the questionable roster that we had in 13 and 14. 15 was a fluke with ARod and Teixeira killing it, and 16 was back down to earth. Who wants to pay the highest prices in baseball (regular people or corporations) for an 84 win team. The last part of the year was awesome. We knew that they weren’t winning, but at least they were fun to watch again.
Hatfields & McCoys vs.Hatfields & McCoys
Gotta Love it.
Not cool Yankees.
what usually happens is that the player goes high (5mil) and the team goes low (3mil)…and 99.9% of the time they split the difference….Levine decided in his infinite wisdom that he would draw the monetary line with Delin???..he should stick to golf…they shouldve never been put in that position for 1million dollars..especially when the Yankees are about to go on a historical spending spree in 2018 and all the young players are watching that unfold….its a bad look for the team and especially when Betances is a good player and team mate.
Levine acted like an a$$, but it wasn’t “his” decision. This story didn’t just materialize yesterday. The Yankees did, in fact, try to negotiate a mid-way point. Betances’ agent said 3 weeks ago that they were not going to settle and wanted their arbitration date to seek the full $5M.
Now, Levine is an absolute pig and did nobody any favors by kicking dirt on Dellin. But your understanding of the timeline and events are inaccurate.
Levine and Betances’s agent haven’t talked in months according to the agent
How is he a Cry Baby ? It’s funny that GM Cash has done very little he’s done well with trades but very little to ensure the Yankees keep homegrown talent AKA Canoe then they mock Dillon and say he’s the reason for the ratings ? Wait so you trade Miller and Chapman 2 of the big 3 and you want to blame the ticket sales on Dillon ? If anything he’s the only reason people dos still watch to see that 103 MPH pitch Yankees need to do
Something but trashing your HOME GROWN FARM PLAYER is not it!!
Yankees trying to pinch every penny so they can pay Bryce Harper a record contract.
This post is the hands down winner.. Imagine what those NY tabloids will be writing with regards to harper’s already explosive mouth when/if harper signs some 300-350m contract with NY? It’ll be worse than anything Jackson/Winfield and martin they ever wrote, all combined and THOSE were supposedly tame days of reporting! imagine what those ‘reporters” in today’s days of fake news will be be imagining to write, on top of all the mess harper already spews out?
It’ll be worse than poor Giambi ever got. Harper will be begging his way out, much like randy johnson did.
Funny thing is, Harper really hasn’t done anything to deserve.
If the players don’t like the arbitration process, they should have mentioned it to the union before they signed off on it in the new CBA.
So, arbitration is the reality.
If players don’t want to endure the (well known) bruising that comes with arbitration, they can instruct their agents to settle.
If not, shut up and pitch. Seriously.
Levine’ comments were unnecessary, but the agent has botched this on every level. He tried a desperate swing for the fences and didn’t prepare his client properly.
If Betances isn’t happy with the outcome he needs to look in the mirror at the guy who hired this particular agent.
It’s the public comments and not the result of the process that irked him. Levine chose to make comments public regarding a private process. Rather than leaving it in the arbitration room, he chose to gloat, while continuing to pay an elite backend of their bullpen minimum wage. Don’t feel sorry for someone making a half-million, but it’s unnerving when a boss with the obvious upper hand can’t seem to compromise financially and not take shots at his young core. It would be naive to think that this won’t come around during extension talks. This is how you burn bridges.
I hope he cries enough that the Yankees want to trade him to the braves. Vizcanio Cabrera Betances and Jim Johnson closing. Thats 3 guys that can throw 99-100 geez that would be a nightmare to face. That would be better than venters EOF and Kimbrel before that pathetic manager we had before ruined it
Since when does Jim Johnson throw 99-100?
They mean viz, Cabrera and Dellin.
The other 3 guys he mentioned do.
Why is it that he automatically goes to the braves? There are quite a few teams in much better position to reap value from a top tier bp arm.
Interesting but closers still get/deserve the big bucks.
@floridapinstrips——agreed!!–99.9% of yankee fans want levine out !!!——every time he opens his mouth he embarrasses the organization!!——notice no one in ‘the family’ says anything against him?——-he married well !!
Was there an arbitration prediction/analysis article on Betances? If so it should be linked in this post.
I wonder what the highest first-year arb amounts have been for non-closers. I feel like since they have probably been around $3m or lower, that it was fair for him to try to break the model a bit (3-time all star, leader in innings over the last 3 years, top 5 in so many categories) but that he shouldn’t have tried to break it by so much. If he filed for something in the upper 4’s, like $4.8m, I think he could have possibly won with a good presentation. I think breaking the $5m barrier was a deal-breaker for him.
He’s a unique player, and regardless of whether he was entitled to 5 million or 3 million dollars, he was entitled to respect. Plenty of guys go to arbitration, this is the first I’ve heard of a team president outright insulting the player.
that’s exactly the point I actually believe that the Yankees had a more realistic number though I think they should have settled. and I think they deserve to win but it’s the respect that is the problem.
The system needs to change, for sure. But, it’s a long-established system that has ALWAYS worked in a very specific and predictable way. If it’s going to change it’s going to change in the CBA. Trying to reinvent it DURING a hearing is absolutely moronic.
The Adrian Beltre
You are correct.
The Adrian Beltre
Tale of two idiots. 1. Greedy agent trying to raise the arb bar too much too fast. When did the team control years stop being team friendly? $20 million for three arb years of a reliever for is ridiculous(which is where this was headed), a low-budget contender would have to trade all their decent relievers with 2-plus years of control left. And no, he isn’t the closer. He’s great, very great, but not history-changing great. Foolish move by player and agent, and agent should have known better. And 2. I rarely see a FO employee gloat this much in a victory over a rival. I’ve never seen one hold a press conference to gloat a victory over an employee… Wow. Parents, teach your kids better than this. Please.
Excellent analysis. Levine is an idiot. An “astronaut” if you will. But the bigger idiots by far are Excel agency. As a Yankees fan I have been waiting for this case to settle for awhile, not just because this is suddenly news. I was strongly opposed to the ridiculous grab attempted. I probably refreshed the MLBTR app 20 times between Friday and Saturday to learn what was decided. Your point about small market teams and arbitration is also excellent, haven’t seen that point covered much.
Levine is a loudmouth and it was unprofessional to comment on the hearing the way he did. But Betances and his agent (and apparently an MLBPA rep) tried to blow up the system in an amateurish fashion and they deserve to lose just for that.
Just Another Fan
No one is bringing up how Betances got $0 raise after a great 2015 season, and a mere $5000 raise over 3 years. They are messing with him on purpose because they suddenly are bigger cheapskates than the A’s.
They did offer him at least a 40,000 raise last year. It he rejected so they renewed him at the minimum. That is almost a 10% increase in salary which no average person would decline but instead betances was insulted by it.
Levine’s arrogance is the issue. I don’t fault DB for defending himself once Levine went public.
This is why we hate the Yanks. Has been a long time since they have given anyone ammunition. Thanks for making it easy, Levine.
why would you say such a thing about him he should be allowed the money he wants I think arbitration is ridiculous
The Yankees screwed this one up pretty bad. Dellin is the best set up man in the game (depending on how miller is used). Unless they reward him with a good extension which he might not take now, I can see him leaving in free agency or if the both side don’t shut their mouth, there could be an ugly split at the deadline in which the Yankees lose leverage because teams know they want to get rid of him. The Yankees are NOT the team to save 1-2 million dollars and risk creating an ugly relationship with the teams 2nd best maybe 1st best pitcher
I really doubt your point of trading at the deadline. No way the Yankees trade him for peanuts regardless. Heck if this was the rays or A’s doing this it wouldn’t even be a story. People would be talking about how much of an over shoot it would be for 5 million first year arb.
I agree it probably won’t happen but if it continues to get worse and it becomes a big thing, it’s happened before (with other teams). Very unlikely but still possible
Of course they would still ask for a whole lot in return but they lose that “we’ll keep him if we don’t get exactly what they want” still very unlikely though
How many times did this guy come in for 5 out saves? Chapman complained about being moved around. Bragging about $2M yet how much are they paying Arod and Sabathia this year about $5M?
The Yankees work this guy like a cheap claiming horse. So now that they have won let them live with the damage they created with their comments. If I am DB I pitch one inning and not on consecutive days. I also take my concerns to the media so that my position is clear on the health of my arm. You reap what you sow!!!
Yeah that will sure help his career. You realize if he tries to pull that crap he will be resented by his teammates, exposed by the media and eaten alive regardless of how inappropriate Levine’s comments are.
Best thing Delin can do is take the high road, continue to pitch at a high level and know that there’s a 99% chance he’s traded in 2017 since the Yankees are still in rebuild mode and he has tremendous value on the trade market.
I’d love to see the Yankees fire Levine to send a message but I’m not sure Steinbrenner has the balls to do that.
Yanks won’t trade Betances lol. Also not in rebuild after signing chapman to his big ass contract lol. Best hope is for Yankees to discipline or fire Levine and make things better with Betances so we can resign him.
I like how you suggest that Betances should go full d-bag mode and then use the “reap what you sow” line
Exactly. Gotta take the high road here. He gains nothing by holding back.
If he’s really upset he should his head down and then leave New York the minute he becomes a free agent.
Just Another Fan
He can demand a trade too, that’s not full d-bag mode and by the looks of it, the rest of MLB isn’t going to fault him because the Yankees have a dumpster idiot who hates him and refused to give him any raise after a marvelous 2015. I hope the MLBPA gets involved here too, you cannot blame a single player for declining ticket sales.
Levine doesn’t determine who gets paid, dude. Steinbrenner and Cashman determine that.
And sure, he can demand a trade, but unless they Yankees receive the return they believe he demands (which rest assured is VERY VERY high), they don’t have to trade him right now.
He can refuse to pitch and whatever else too, but the only person he’s going to hurt by doing that is himself.
Best thing he can do is put his head down and go to work. He’s going to be traded well before he’s a free agent anyways.
Yeah it’s cash and Hal that decide his salary but Levine had no reason to insult one of the best relievers in the game for wanted what he deserves. I hope Levine loses what ever respect he has/had from the players
Like I said Levine is poison to the organization thanks for proving my point guys yes the agent reached for the stars, but to go public and trash one of your elite players is something Hal and Cashman should look at very seriously if it was me I’d walk into his office and tell him keep his big mouth shut on things like this. but that’s me
Totally agree. He needs not involve himself in this stuff at all.
That said, I hope the Yankees take advantage of his tremendous trade value in 2017 and deal him for a package of strong prospects.
First off, Levine is a turd and should have been terminated or given a muzzle years ago.
That said, Read between all the lines people. The fact is, Betances is an Arb eligible player and the yanks knew they’d beat him. Blame the system if you want but they did nothing wrong with respect to that system.
Remember, delin couldn’t cut it as a starter and the Yankees helped him reinvent himself as a formidable reliever.
Yet they’re still signing guys like Miller and Chapman. What does that tell you?
I interpret this in two ways: 1. the Yankees don’t prefer him in the closer role and 2. They are rebuilding and recognize that teams in the playoff hunt will drop a phat prospect package for this guy WHEN (not if) the Yankees make him available.
Levines unfortunate comments probably expedited that trade probability for 2017.
Look, Betances is a relief pitcher, who makes very little $$ compared to others within his tier. The Yanks have positioned themselves very nicely to take advantage of that value because rest assured there are plenty of teams who believe he is a capable closer if given the opportunity.
They both need to shut up! Yankees won according to current “rules”. He isn’t really a closer and therefore should not be paid as such. When he was a closer he wasn’t a very good one. They went out and bought a better one. He is a very good set up guy. What Levine is saying isn’t really untrue – just unwise…..
The only spot i disagree with you on is that he isn’t a good closer.
He’s never stepped into that role full time except later last season.
I believe he is more than capable of closing if given the opportunity.
I also believe the Yankees are well aware of this and will take advantage of that value and his relatively low salary in 2017 at the trade deadline.
The rebuild continues. This deal will enable us to spin prospects to improve other areas.
As a Jays fan, I’m pretty happy the Yankees team president went off, lol any kind of turmoil in Yankee land is great!
As much as people in TO whine about Shapiro, I can’t see him ever saying anything like that, indeed, he usually focuses on the positives and supports the player. I’m sure behind closed doors people have their own personal opinions, but publicly you should be supporting the player, not sure what the Yankees are trying to accomplish here.
Shapiro is your GM, right? Not the same role as Levine.
Cashman (GM) should have been the only Yankees person providing commentary on this process and outcome unless Steinbrenner felt compelled to weigh in. And I’d wager that Cashman’s commentary wouldn’t have been anything remotely similar to what Levine said..
Shapiro is President and CEO of the Blue Jays. Their GM is Ross Atkins. What, specifically, the line is for the Jays I certainly can’t speak to.
Levine should stick to the business side of things, leaving PR and player relations to those less arrogant and equipped with a better temperament to control his emotions. Did he get fired up watching a Trump pressed?
It’s astounding how many commenters in this thread still discern closer from reliever.
It’s important to when you are speaking about arbitration because it does
This is very ironic imo, the Yankees in the past were notorious for overpaying players after there prime, I understand there trying to change that and get most out of players during there prime for cheap, but the Yankees handled this terribly.. I can only imagine how all the prospects they just traded for now feel knowing what the upper brass wants to do with their young players. The arrogance of there president to say that is bad for baseball and the Yankees. Why management should always keep there mouths shut in the end it’s a business no need for drama.
I think you need to understand that the Yankees (excepting idiot Levine’s comments) did absolutely nothing wrong here. They worked within the confines of the arbitration rules. Point fingers at the system, not the Yankees.
Plenty of teams have high caliber players that they put through the arbitration process and rest assured they make far less than they would on the open market were they a free agent. And that’s the whole point: Betances IS NOT a free agent and won’t be for a few years.
This will all blow over, particularly when the Yankees trade Betances before this season’s deadline as they rebuild the organization and prime themselves for the strong, forthcoming free agent markets after CC, ARod salaries fall off the books and Tanaka’s $25m is opted out of after this season.
As far as Levine goes, VERY VERY unprofessional and out of line. If I were Steinbrenner, I’d fire the idiot. He is very replaceable and it seems the only time he opens his mouth to the media it is in an offensive manner of some kind. Yankees need to be above that.
Just Another Fan
Why did the Yankees give him zero raise after 2015 though? Total cheapskates and disrespectful to an elite talent.
Honestly, they don’t have to. Like it or not, its a decision they are allowed to make.
Beyond that, I really don’t think Betances has been part of their long term plan.
They have plenty of other young fireballers coming up through their system that they can use in Betances’s role.
Betances is not the first player they’ve taken this stance with.
I do think that they need to address Levine’s comments in some capacity and that should start with Steinbrenner demanding Levine issue a personal apology to Betances. Levine was way out of line, so in that respect, I won’t say that particular component of all this wasn’t “scummy” as you put it. But their use of the arb process is well within the confines of the arb rules.
Just Another Fan
No regular player in MLB has had to make min wage 3 years in a row with basically no raise, classless penny-pinching move by the scummy Yankees. Betances should demand a trade immediately.
In what way did they break any rules within the arbitration process?
I find it ironic that fans of other teams just think that because the Yankees can spend the money they should. You do realize where that’s led them in recent years, right?
You do realize they signed Miller and traded for Chapman (only to re-sign him this offeseason) right? What does that tell you about how the Yankees see Betances’s value. Doesn’t matter if you or I agree with it, but clearly they don’t feel comfortable giving him the closers job.
This is a business. And this move was conducive to running the business they way they see fit as they go through their rebuilding effort.
All of the above tells me one thing: the Yankees fully intend to trade Betances sooner than later and take advantage of his tremendous trade value that will bring in a boatload of prospect talent. And that will be a great move for him as he will be given the opportunity to close games (or maybe setup too in a role similar to Miller) for a team in contention.
Just Another Fan
How many straw man arguments can you make in one post?
“In what way did they break any rules within the arbitration process?”
I’m not arguing that, literally every MLB team gives raises to good young players of some kind. Betances got no raise after 2015, that is what I’m saying. I’m also arguing that its a scummy move to cry poor when you’re the richest franchise in America under ANY circumstances!
“I find it ironic that fans of other teams just think that because the Yankees can spend the money they should. You do realize where that’s led them in recent years, right?”
Its 2 million to a young elite player, you are talking like I’m saying they should sign him to a 100 mill FA deal, like they did with Sabathia, Teixeira, Chapman…No. Stop it. You are wrong about literally everything. Go back to the drawing board.
“You do realize they signed Miller and traded for Chapman (only to re-sign him this offeseason) right? What does that tell you about how the Yankees see Betances’s value. Doesn’t matter if you or I agree with it, but clearly they don’t feel comfortable giving him the closers job.”
You do realize I know all that, right? I also know Betances is SICK. He’s great at pitching. The superpen is the new thing in MLB after KC won the WS with an awful rotation but incredible pen, and the Indians don’t make the WS last year either without theirs. This was what the Yankees tried to emulate in getting Miller and Chapman in addition to Betances. How can you not understand this?
“This is a business. And this move was conducive to running the business they way they see fit as they go through their rebuilding effort.”
By pissing off a star player over $2 million, in a year they’re paying scrubs more. Riiiiiiiiight. You do realize Betances is the same age as Chapman and is only going to get one chance at a big money deal, right? If you side with owners and team, you are the problem.
“All of the above tells me one thing: the Yankees fully intend to trade Betances sooner than later and take advantage of his tremendous trade value that will bring in a boatload of prospect talent. And that will be a great move for him as he will be given the opportunity to close games (or maybe setup too in a role similar to Miller) for a team in contention.”
If Betances demands a trade that value drops right down low though. I love how you spent all this post telling me how bad Betances is and how the Yankees should be ripping him off, but then saying he’s going to bring in a lot of prospects when they trade him.
Dude, just go to his baseball reference page, and look at his salaries. The Yankees are screwing him, they have screwed him every single year and they just screwed him again. You don’t deny a raise to a go-to guy like they did from 2015 to 2016. The Yankees have turned into a penny pinching team and its pathetic. You give Betances $5M in his 4th season. No one thinks that’s a problem, and there’s barely any players like Betances in the game anyway, so this “precedent” crap is moot..
Dude, you’re delusional. When did I say Betances is bad? I said he’s not part of their long term plan and that the Yankees didn’t feel comfortable handing him the closer’s job. Seems relatively obvious to me. You can disagree with that valuation. I think he can close, but my guess is that the Yankees would rather exploit his trade value (considering his low salary and track record as an elite setup man) and gain pieces and depth that will have far greater potential in the long term. Heck, Miller was a relative bargain at $12m/year but they traded him for a great haul.
And for the record, he did get raise,. He’s making $3m now, a sum determined by the arbiter.
I do wonder, who is your favorite team? You seem to have an awful lot of animosity towards the Yankees. Not uncommon by any means, but I think you fail to see the bigger picture here.
Quite frankly, I don’t think Betances was pissed off so much by the fact that his salary demand wasn’t met. I think he was pissed off that Levine gloated about it. And I understand that as I’ve mentioned above and empathize with him. I even said in a separate post that I think Steinbrenner should demand Levine personally apologize to Betances..
Superpens are nice and all, but they guarantee nothing. The Yankees decided to go that direction because the starting pitching they had/have is mediocre and the options on the free agent market have been thin in recent years excepting maybe Scherzer and one or two other guys who got really large paychecks. So in the interim it takes pressure off their starters by having a long, formidable pen. You’re baked if you think that’s a key to their long term strategy.
His trade value will not drop if he demands a trade right now because he really holds no cards. So they can evaluate offers and take one if they like it. Or they can say no thanks. Betances is not the difference between winning and losing right now. Where does that put Betances? Holding out will hurt no one but Betances. Check out your baseball history. What happened to Babe Ruth when he held out? How about Joe DiMaggio? Or Mickey Mantle? Those guys were cornerstone players. I just don’t think Betances is a cornerstone player for the Yankees. Very few relievers are cornerstone players. He’s awesome, but he’s not Mariano Rivera who I’d argue is one of the few (if not the only) cornerstone reliever in baseball history.
I’d have been fine if they gave him $5m or met him somewhere in the middle but they chose not to do so. Again, that’s their right, whether you or anyone else (myself included) like it.
Betances will still get his shot at free agency in a few years, he’ll be 30. That is unless he’s traded and the acquiring team entices him to signing a multiyear deal. After the past two days, obviously the Yankees won’t be offering him anything. Levine burned that bridge.
Just Another Fan
“blamed him for a decline in second-half ticket sales in 2016.”
The Yankees are straight trash, what an abomination of a franchise. Fire the entire front office. Unbelievable levels of stupidity here. They don’t deserve to win.
I’m not sure I understand the outrage of fans over DB. Was it high? Sure by the track record of the archaic system it was unattainable. But arb was his right. Just as it was the panels right to side with Yankees. Some players are just curious and interested in the system. But where Arb can lead to bad blood is when cases evolve outside of baseball, I.e. Ticket sales declining. So why would Levine then take a blow torch to the relationship and act like a 5 year old. It’s just business. Most players understand that, but when it becomes personal then the rift might become monumental. I’m on DB side. The Yankees were correct in their assessments. But Levine showed his unprofessionalism. Makes you take into prospective the organization you root for.
Dear Levine… foot, mouth. Look it up.
This is such a Yankees story. Nowhere else would this happen…
Lmao I agree
They signed Chapman for $17.2m a year. $17.2m a year for a guy who will throw 60-70 innings. Not to mention A Rod getting $21m to not play. CC $25m to put up a #5 starter’s production. But they couldn’t meet Betances in the middle at $4m. And Levine’s completely asinine behavior afterwards. Wow. But I guess if the president of the United States can act like that, the Yankees’ president can too right? Ridiculous.
I re-read the transcript of the Levine press conference and I don’t see that he was that out of line. He repeatedly praised Belances but took exception with his agent for trying to push the salary established for a setup guy to closer range. He said the agent was doing a disservice to his client which is true. The arbitration process does discern the difference between the two. Their offer was a record for a setup guy and that is what he deserved. Should he have called a press conference to explain? Maybe not but this is New York and he was going to have to answer the questions to a hundred different reporters anyway.
Levine could have avoided all this by simply NOT TALKING. If Betances was unhappy he could have quietly told him “I’m sorry but it’s business.” But no… he humiliated his player in the media.
I don’t usually get involved with these kinds of posts or discussions but I feel compelled to throw out a few thoughts…
1. Dellin B is a middle reliever. Maybe a superb middle reliever and maybe a “setup man” but he is essentially a middle reliever.
2. He is a failed Starter. (all indications seem to be he had trouble with delivery or repeating his mechanics due to his size (understandable) but whatever the reason, he failed as a starter.
3. He has somewhat failed in his role (thus far), as a closer.
4. If you are not a closer, and not a starter, you are either a middle reliever, setup man or a swingman perhaps, but the “fireman” role is still essentially a middle reliever who gets higher leverage opportunities.
5. The Yankees paid him an acceptable signing bonus to secure his rights. I know this because Betances Voluntarily accepted it in exchange for his rights.Therefore whatever the amount was, it was acceptable to him in exchange for his rights he contracted to the Yankees organization.
6. Betances should have known going in that $3 Million is a lot of money for a FIRST TIME arbitration middle reliever. In fact $3 Million is pretty good Middle reliever money, let alone a first time Arb Middle reliever. (Most of whom probably make less than $1 Million) So the Yankees offered 3X at least, your typical middle reliever salary (his peers).
7. The Yankees last year offered Betances roughly a 10% raise, he rejected it. So they paid him the minimum (as was not only their right, but pretty much their obligation after he slapped them in the face rejecting it).
8. Imagine you are offered a 10% raise from your employer and you tell them to kick rocks. So your employer renews you at the rate you were making. Now imagine that the next year in your review, your employer offers you 3X or more what similar employees in your position are being paid, recognizing you as a rock star of your profession basically. And you still tell them to kick rocks.
9. The Yankees remember, Took a chance on this kid, paid him a signing bonus to contract his rights at a fair market rate. The Yankees trained him, tried him as a started (failed), tried him as a closer (somewhat failed), spent much time and money training and helping this kid become a better employee/contractor/player. They get slapped for their efforts.
10.. Betances and agents asked for the moon and wanted to “meet in the middle”. Well, the Yankees (rightfully so) probably felt that by such an outrageous ask ($5 Million for 1st year arb eligible middle reliever) that they were essentially trying to force the Yankees hand. Remember, the higher the ask, the higher the middle ground would be. Had he asked for $4 Million, odds are the Yankees would have settled for $3.5 Mil and avoided this whole mess. I personally think Betances felt slighted last year when the Yankees offered “only” a 10% raise and decided he wanted to stick it to them as soon as he could (rather than waiting until free agency to reap the rewards as would be his right, he got anxious (or felt over-entitled based on his rights as a player) and wanted to push the issue). You see this every day with employees who think they are worth more than what their employers are paying them. The difference is most employees can just quit (most don’t, mind you). But in this case because the Yankees have invested so much, they still own his rights for a few more years, which is completely fair and reasonable and agreed upon by the Players and Teams alike (Collectively Bargained).
11. Betances asked to not report to Spring Training until after the hearing. When I read this for the first time, I realized this kid was the one making the issue, not the Yankees. Perhaps it is within his rights to do so or perhaps it is customary, but you rarely hear about it with other players. When I saw he was skipping out on his job while he waited, I realized it would be the equivalent of a rockstar employee telling their employer that they wanted to take the next week off prior to their performance review. Instead of working and going about his business, it made it seem to me that he was being a little petulant. This rubbed me a little bit the wrong way, personally. He was contracted legally to the organization either way, either for $3 Million or $5 Million. So it seemed to me this is where I saw things maybe being a little “off” in the last week leading up to his hearing when it came out as news that he was being excused by the Yankees (kudos to them for doing so, they were not obligated).
12. Now we are starting to get to where you can see why Randy Levine and perhaps the Yankees organization might feel slightly perturbed. Because it seems now to be a pattern. This kid rejected the raise last year. Told them to kick rocks, acted like they disrespected him by taking a chance on him and all the years they spent trying to help him become the prospect and player he is… There were times he struggled in the minors so bad that I remember people wondering if he would bust completely as a prospect. So that the Yankees stuck with him and he because a legitimate middle reliever/setup man and 3 time all star is kudos to him but also to the Yankees for sticking with him and giving him opportunities to succeed.
13. I agree the press conference called by Randy Levine was probably unnecessary…however, I do not think it was to “gloat” as many have suggested. It was perhaps to try to provide some even keel and maybe even a type of olive branch perspective to this kid who seems to think the Yankees “owe” him something more than they are giving him. Sure other organizations MAY have given him all these opportunities MAYBE, but surely some would have cut him or not given him as much of a chance to succeed and none could have on the biggest stage like NY has. So I think Mr Levine’s point may have been to say with his press conference something to the effect of “Look, stop slapping the hand that feeds you – stop pushing us away we are trying to treat you fairly even if you FEEL unfairly treated”. Maybe just as a gentle reminder that he could have had his 10% raise last year, and he probably would have made more this year, had he acted a little differently (more concilatory) towards the organization and perhaps not made such an “outrageous” demand. Of course, this all may have been unnecessary but who wants 2 more years of this? It’s a circus and it didn’t need to be.
14. Even with the press conference, does anyone really blame the Yankees for all this? This stuff seems to be more a result of Betances’ hurt feelings and his feelings of wanting more more more (money or whatever) and the Yankees feeling that they were giving him plenty of respect within reason. I see a lot of commentators siding with Betances and I find it hard to understand. Everyone loves the little guy, sure I understand that many people are employees and probably wish they could get 3X or 5x what their peers make and maybe some people actually believe they are worth it, but come on now… It seems to me that the Yankees have been reasonable every step of the way. Was $3 Million maybe less than he feels he should have earned, absolutely, and probably almost every 1st year Arb eligible player probably feels that way too.
15. I think the best thing for Betances to do at this point is go out and play like an all star, and then when he hits free Agency, he will make the money, whether from the Yankees or someone else. The Yankees probably want to see him replicate his results the next couple of years and then they would probably gladly offer him a huge deal like Aroldis Chapman got, or Rafael Soriano or Rivera before him. The Yankees pay… no one can make the argument that they spent less than your average MLB team because they don’t they are usually at the top 10% of the teams in the market as far as payroll.. As well they should be with the New York market being what it is. Maybe Betances feels like he got the short end of the stick but that is the system, and that is what the MLBPA and MLB teams agreed to. This does not seem to be a problem caused by the Yankees. From the outset it seems like this problem was caused by Betances (before he even lost his hearing) feeling slighted (by the Yankees, By The System, Who knows?) I am sure we all have felt that way before at some point in our lives.
16. Middle relievers are volatile. Relievers in general are volatile. Pitchers in general are volatile. I think expecting the Yankees to pay a 1st year Arb eligible reliever $5 Million is a huge expectation and ask.
17. For the love of GOD, it angers me to hear Betances make a comment like he will maybe only pitch one inning from now on…. let’s be clear… it’s NOT his choice!!!! So many people have posted about this as if he has a choice….. it is NOT his choice. If the YANKEES (Girardi or Management) want to use him for 1 inning or 2 or 3 or 5, that is their choice. He should answer the bell and give his best effort regardless. If he wants to be a martyr he can go ahead and quit baseball right now. Retire. Take a stand if that’s what he wants to do. But don’t ever go out to your job (any job) and give less than 100% of your effort. Or even threaten to do so… That’s shameful.
Couple points I’d add:
1. Levine was way out of line and should not have made any comments whatsoever. That’s Cashmans job (unless Steinbrenner asked Levine. If so, shame on him for allowing these types of classless, unnecessary comments).
2. Betances, in my mind, will never hit free agency as a Yankee. This guy will definitely be traded. Long before any of this crap, I’ve opined that they should trade him at the 2017 deadline for a similar haul they received for Miller/Chapman. Tees us up nicely for 2018 and beyond.
Have you considered anger management?
It boggles my mind that in 2017 anyone would defend Levine by arguing that Betances is “not a closer.” Being a closer is a construct of the fact that someone has to throw the last out, and (often wrongheadedly) baseball teams believe that role should ALWAYS go to the best arm in the bullpen, especially when the nigh-meaningly Save statistic is on the line.
I do not put all my trust in WAR, but in the three years from 2014 to 2016, Betances had the top fWAR for any reliever by half a run (8.5). So when Levine says, “Dellin Betances is not a closer based on statistics,” Betances has every right to be cheesed off. For Levine KNOWS what he’s saying is BS. The Yankees know Betances’s value. They are just happy to play along with the idea that saves mean something because in the ridiculous arbitration hearings, they do.
Like others have said: it’s one thing to take advantage of that inaccurate system. It’s another thing altogether to lie in the press about that system’s accuracy.
Betances is not a closer. That’s a FACT. Even his attempts at closing haven’t been that good. Assuming a closer means someone who ends the game, he isn’t a very good “closer”.. Maybe let’s give him some credit that he is a really good middle reliever (pitching between the starter and the “closer”).
Jeffery, that is a “fact” only in the semantic sense. By fWAR, Betances has been the best reliever in baseball over the last three years. “Closer” means very, very little except when at the antiquated arbitration table. The Yankees are quite aware of Betances’s value–particularly in today’s game–as the best reliever in baseball (by most metrics). Their acquisitions of Chapman and Miller speak to understanding the value of having top relievers on the staff. They knew what their trade values were worth and made out rightly like bandits last year as a result.
Understand that whatever arbitrary standards that you are using to disparage Betances and call him “not a closer” are not held by the Yankees. They know what they have. The fact that Levine lied about it in public is insulting to Betances, and–if you are a fan of the Yankees–should be to you too.
You are making my point. He is a very good reliever no doubt. But not a “closer” in the traditional or literal sense of the word. Levine’s comments don’t bother me at all I just think they were unnecessary. His point about being an astronaut is exactly the confusion you are having. Betances wanted to be paid like a “closer” but no stats back it up. He is a valuable reliever (fWAR) as you mentioned. The Yankees certainly recognize it. That doesn’t mean Levine isn’t correct. Passing all the theoretical tests in the world doesn’t make me an astronaut if I’ve never been in space, does it? You could pitch 3 inning shutouts every time from the 5th-7th innings in every game and I’d say that makes you an exceptional middle reliever not a closer. You say it’s semantics but if it were semantics arbitrators would ignore them. Not having many saves, having many blown saves when given the chance last year, having a high ERA over 3 and an ERA over 9.00 in last month of the season etc (when talent was diluted by expanded rosters, people forget about that) all points to someone who may very well be an elite closer someday but is NOT YET and arbitration pays for past production not expected future (hypothetical) production. That’s why Levine said it’s like him being an astronaut. There’s not any record of saves, or any of the “closer stats”…. innings pitched and strikeouts just mean he was a good middle reliever at least until some type of leverage stats are accepted in arbitration. A lot of pitchers pitched lots of innings or made lots of appearances. And I’m not saying betances isn’t good. I’m not bashing him. He’s great. But he’s not a closer (yet) that’s all I was trying to say.
Let me put it another way, Andrew Miller, one of the best “non closers” signed a free agent deal for $9 million per season. Do you really think a 1st year arbitration eligible player should be paid anywhere near half let alone over half of the “free market” rate? Because if so, why is there any tiers (1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year) at all? If the MLBPA and MLB wanted free agency after 3 years instead of 6 they wouldn’t have arbitration at all.
“You are making my point.”
I have noticed this peculiar rhetorical trope gain increasing use in comment debates, and, typically–as is the case here–it is used incorrectly, often because the person writing it completely missed the point of the other interlocutor. I don’t mean to suggest that you are being willfully obtuse, but by no means was I “making your point.” Your point is that a “closer” is a bullpen role that has demonstrable value over all other bullpen roles and thus Betances has proven himself as less worthy of a relief pitcher because he has not been effectively used to finish games. There’s no way anything I said consented to that suggestion.
I’m saying that there is no spoon, Neo. I’m saying that believing that somehow masterfully-pitched middle innings are less valuable than masterfully-pitched late innings is antiquated and (in today’s game where everyone’s FO is pretty damn smart) potentially dangerous thinking. (After all, “closers,” often face fewer batters than “middle relievers” overall, meaning they, by reason, must face fewer GOOD batters–particularly when you consider sometimes better hitters have been replaced in the line-up by the ninth inning.)
I’m saying statements like “Betances wanted to be paid like a ‘closer’ but no stats back it up” make me arch my eyebrows, especially when you agreed that his fWAR is impressive. Of course, I’m saying that Levine is not correct, and what’s more, I’m saying that I suspect that he knows it. I’m saying that the “astronaut” dodge is a failed analogy because the baseball world is increasingly recognizing that “closer” is not truly an authentic role. Likely, the main reason it will persist is because it’s believed that bullpen pitchers like having the roles sorted out. It makes them comfortable. That the same person will continue to pitch in save situations is an acquiescence to the “mental side” of the game, but it doesn’t lend any real credence to the idea that a closer is somehow a superior pitcher.
“You say it’s semantics but if it were semantics arbitrators would ignore them.”
This is where I’m really scratching my head, as this very post discusses how two different baseball writers note how antiquated the arbitration process for relievers is. They argue that saves, a virtually meaningless statistic, is given far too much credence. So I guess I (and many, many others) am saying that the very problem is that the arbitrators DON’T ignore the semantics of “closer” and all the trappings that go with it.
The problem, as I see it, is that you aren’t really addressing my argument. That’s because what I am arguing against is the set of premises you are using to orient your own claims. And I’d be willing to bet that the Yankees don’t buy those premises either. Sure, they buy them at the arbitration table because you take advantage of the system when you can. Nevertheless, saying someone is “not a closer” is understood to carry less weight than it used to throughout MLB, and rightly so.
Judging by your follow-up post about Miller, I’m assuming that you think I’m arguing that Betances should get more money. I’ve never made such an argument. I really don’t care about that, to be honest. What I do care about is watching someone in authority lie in public about Betances’s value. It’s slimy and oddly treats baseball fans as if the whole analytics revolution never happened.
I’m sorry for the diatribe in return, but it’s clear that you weren’t understanding what I’m trying to say. Perhaps that was my fault. I do believe, however, that the basic block here is that you find value in the traditional closer role that I just don’t.
Im Ross Atkins, Blue Jays manager, and we are offering the dynamic Justin Smoak for Betances, Even though i have a man crush on Smoak, we need relief pitchers, in return you get Justin Smoak who is a 10 time MVP, is going to win MVP 100% this season, he promised us, can steal 80 bases, can hit 60 homeruns, has a career .400 batting average and .500 OBP, he can play every single position, he is cheating on his wife because he is having an affair with a yankees fan, he must love the yankees, everybody loves him, he is a Hall of Famer and a Legend, but we are desperate for a closer, Our head coach gibbons has a man crush on betances but he will still miss the loveful smoak, the great moments he gave us, this is a steal for the yankees, the biggest steal of all time, if you guys like making history so much, accept this offer, Smoak is a BONAFIDE STAR and will be even better with the yankees, he is 100× better then that fat ass bitch you guys have named gary sanchez..Humbly and respectfully respect this offer please.
Everyone who files for arbitration is warned that every little blemish in their game be brought up and their feelings will be hurt. Better to take the offer and screw them in free agency.. Go in with alligator skin and be a man, or realize you are still being paid millions of dollars to play a game.
That’s the process. A lot of folks on this thread clearly don’t understand it and act like Betances is the only guy to get burned in arbitration.
Levine’s comments are the real fruit for the issue, and they are uncalled for.
Levine = JERKOFF.
It’s great to see the Yankees devour each other. Like the Good ole days of Billy, Reggie and George. Go eat each other, Yankees.
Arbitration is a lose lose proposition for everyone involved, especially the ball club. The indirect cost the ball club incurs in bad morale, players then asking for trades and impacts on future players that might consider signing with the club are all not worth the difference they are generally fighting over. The clubs that have a track record of never going into arbitration are getting it right.
The issue here is by no means the outcome of the hearing. It is the childish and unprofessional response on the part of Randy Levine. I hope Betances remembers this when the time comes and either soaks the Yankees for every last cent as a free agent or leaves altogether. Levine is an embarrassment.
Betances WBPS is too low
Everyone knows that starter make more than relief pitchers, and yet Betances wanted as much as Matt Harvey and more than deGrom 4 million and Syndergaard less than a million. Players don’t win often in arbitration. To me, the young players are way under paid and the vets usually make more than their worth, like most jobs in this world people get paid on longevity and past performance. Betances is worth 5 million, as Harvey and de Grom are worth 15 million. I’m surprised the Yanks haven’t put a muzzle on Levine, he always puts his foot in his mouth.
Crybaby? If you were in shoes you would be a lil mad yourself. This is his first year being arb eligible. He has 2 choices- take it year to year or sign a long term extension. If he feels the team will slight him both ways then play out the team control & leave as a free agent
Bad look Yanks. They should have paid the kid before this arbitration thing even came up. And now this? He has every right to be angry
Levine is the team idiot. Always saying wrong thing. Too bad all pitchers wouldn’t take a page out of the Andrew Miller book of whatever the team needs from me. Betances is mad about chapman for 5 years also but he also had a chance at closing even when he was not doing the job which forced Yankees to get a closer. It would not be wise of him to underperform this year or any year. He will for sure lose next arbitration case without a raise. He will be slumming it again next year on $2 million dollars for 70-80 innings pitched.
Randy Levine is an incoherent jackass. Trying to be cute with his idiotic astronaut analogy. The Steinbrenners should host a press conference where he has to publicly apologize to one of the team’s most important players.
Time to ship his ass out then… trading him and Tanaka who will both be free agents this offseason if Tanaka opted out would get us another insane prospect return and i wouldn’t feel safe giving Tanaka a long term deal with his elbow issues. Trading them both at the deadline along with those scrubs chase Headley and Brett Gardner would move us more towards our future and the 2018 free agent class! Hello Bryce Harper and manny machado!