TODAY: Betances has indeed exercised his option, the Mets announced (Twitter link).
It’s telling that Betances would take the guaranteed money here. If Betances thinks he can get more than $3MM on the open market, it would make sense to take the buyout. Given the expectations for a depressed free agent market, it’s not shocking that Betances would take the $6MM to stay in his hometown – the only baseball town he’s ever known.
Betances was once one of the top setup men in baseball with the Yankees, but a partial tear of his Achilles in September of 2019 ended his tenure with the Yankees and sent him to the free agent market. He posted a 2.36 ERA over 358 appearances with the Yankees in his 8 seasons there.
In his first action since the injury, Betances made 15 appearances for the Mets in 2020 but struggled to a 7.71 ERA/4.91 FIP in 11 2/3 innings with a troubling 0.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Betances has been missing a key weapon from his arsenal since his return: his 93.6 mph heater not particularly close to the 97.7 mph four-seamer he sported in his heyday with the Yankees.