7:52am: Betances is hoping to secure a one-year deal in the $10MM range, Heyman tweets. That’s the same guarantee Blake Treinen just landed with the Dodgers, although while Treinen had a down season in 2019, he was at least healthy and pitched 58 2/3 innings in 2019.
Dec. 17, 5:55am: The Mets are now considered unlikely to sign Betances, Heyman tweets. SNY’s Andy Martino hears similarly, tweeting that it doesn’t sound as though the Mets will be the team to land the right-hander.
Dec. 16: A report at the end of November indicated the Phillies were among the teams chasing free-agent reliever Dellin Betances. That remains the case, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (by way of Jack Curry of the YES Network), as he relays that they and the NL East rival Mets are “prominent” in the Betances sweepstakes.
Heading to Philadelphia would reunite Betances with skipper Joe Girardi, who managed the hard-throwing right-hander with the Yankees from 2011-17. Betances had some of the best years of his outstanding career during that stretch, but he’s now coming off an injury-ravaged season in which he barely pitched. Shoulder, lat and Achilles problems limited the 31-year-old Betances to a total of two-thirds of an inning in 2019, leaving him as a strong candidate to sign a short-term deal this winter. MLBTR predicts he’ll ink a one-year, $7MM contract, which should be a reasonable gamble for the Phillies or any other team in need of bullpen help.
A $7MM price tag for a reliever fresh off a limited campaign may have looked somewhat steep for the Mets earlier in the offseason, but they’ve come into some money in recent days with the reworking of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes’ contract. Cespedes, who went through two injury-wrecked years from 2018-19, had been slated to earn $29.5MM next season. However, Cespedes and the Mets just agreed to an amended contract that will guarantee him a far more team-friendly sum (less than $10MM) in 2020.
The Mets have more to work with as a result of Cespedes’ pay cut, and a source told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that they’re “nowhere near done” after signing starters Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha. Perhaps they’ll use some of the money that had been earmarked for Cespedes on Betances, who – at least on paper – would vastly improve the back end of a bullpen that was a frequent issue last season. Notably, new Mets manager Carlos Beltran was once teammates with Betances as a Yankee.