Dellin Betances had "a lot of teams" involved with him before he signed his one-year contract worth $10.5 million with the Mets, but the combination of New York and Carlos Beltran sealed the deal.
During his introductory press conference Thursday at Citi Field, the right-handed reliever singled out Beltran -- a former teammate with the Yankees from 2014-16 -- as a key reason why he chose the Mets.
"For me, he played a big part, definitely," Betances said. "I love Carlos Beltran as a friend and I can't wait to play for him."
Before the Mets made Beltran a first-time manager Nov. 1, Betances got a firsthand appreciation of what it was like to be on the same team as him.
Over Beltran's 20-year playing career, he spent three with the Yankees across town, where his path crossed with Betances, who earned three of his first four All-Star appearances as a rising flamethrower.
As Beltran transitioned out of playing, retiring in 2017 and joining the Yankees' front office for the 2019 season, an established relationship carried into free agency and the Mets made a move Dec. 24.
"As soon as he got the managerial job, I think he kind of pushed the name Dellin Betances, as far as management, so he definitely played a big part," Betances said. "I got the chance to eat with him a couple times in the offseason, just to celebrate with him as a manager, celebrate his wife for her birthday and we spoke about different things. Always, one of the topics was, 'We would love to have you. And I've told them all, the management, that we want you. So hopefully we get to have you.' And now it happened."
Working back from an injury-decimated 2019 season with the Yankees, where he played in one game before suffering a partially torn left Achilles on Sept. 15, Betances is looking forward to learning more from Beltran once Spring Training starts.
"Beltran is a guy that's one of the best at providing information to other players," Betances said. "This guy's a Hall-of-Fame guy and I can't wait for guys to actually meet him and get to play for him, a future Hall of Famer. I think we're all pumped and excited for that."