FEBRUARY 16: The Yankees have announced the signing of Bettis to a minor-league deal.
FEBRUARY 15: Former Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is among those who have been invited to Yankees’ camp this spring, according to multiple reporters (including Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). Once finalized, it will be a minor-league deal for Bettis, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). He would stand to make $1.5MM if he makes the active roster, with an additional $2MM available in performance bonuses, Sherman adds.
Bettis carved out a few solid seasons as a back-of-the-rotation arm in Colorado, most notably from 2015-16. Over that stretch, he tossed 301 innings with a 4.57 ERA and 4.11 FIP, decent production for a pitcher calling Coors Field home. Unfortunately, a series of health scares knocked Bettis off course and he hasn’t managed to replicate that past production.
He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December 2016, although he made an inspiring return to the mound that August. A blister on his pitching hand and a left hip impingement sent Bettis back to the injured list each of the past two seasons. When he did manage to take the mound, Bettis’ results had waned. In 2019, his first year in a full-time relief role, he mustered just a 6.08 ERA, causing Colorado to cut him loose after the season.
There was little word on interest in Bettis thereafter, although he says he’s feeling better physically than he has since beating cancer. He could be starting or relief depth for a Yankee club that bolsters quite a few talented arms in both the rotation and the bullpen.