The Mets needed some bullpen help this offseason, and GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it happen when he signed former Yankees right-hander Dellin Betances to a one-year, $10.5 million deal.
In 358 appearances for the Yankees over eight seasons, Betances showed how dominant he can be coming out of the 'pen with a career 2.36 ERA, 621 career strikeouts in 381.2 innings, and 36 saves to his name as well. But the 6-foot-8 flamethrower had an injury-laden 2019 season that is simply unfair when you break it down.
It's also the reason why a one-year, prove-it deal was given to him in free agency. Betances, though, is confident that he is entering Mets spring training ready to go.
"I feel good," he said. "Pretty much a normal offseason, just a lot more work obviously with the ankle. But I feel good. I've thrown a bunch of bullpens already. Think I'm up to date with everything."
Betances' first injury came in Yankees camp last spring training when a shoulder impingement shut him down. Once he was able to come back, Betances pitched to just two Blue Jays batters on Sept. 15 in Toronto -- striking both of them out -- but tore his Achilles in the process.
It's because of those injuries that Betances worked extra hard to make sure he was ready for the first pitchers and catchers workout on Wednesday, and prepared for a full spring training.
"I'm doing stuff to make sure I maintain that ankle strength," he said. "So I'm doing just more stuff every day, I'm going to continue doing it all season. I feel good coming into camp."
Betances added that he isn't too concerned about that shoulder injury, which was obviously healed before the Achilles injury. Still, he'll make sure to maintain strength there so he doesn't have to go through that rehab again.
When Betances is healthy, his fastball and wiffle ball-esque slider is extremely tough for hitters to even get a piece of. That's why the Mets are so confident in their bullpen, especially if Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz can bounce back in 2020.
"Stuff is there. Definitely electric arms in the bullpen, both righties and lefties," Betances said. "Definitely excited to join this group. I think we can be special with the guys we have. We have a couple guys that have saved over 50 games -- I don't think many teams can say that."
Turning 32 before the regular season starts, Betances can provide some veteran leadership despite being the newcomer. He noted providing players, like Diaz who struggled in his first year with New York, whenever he can but also will be asking tons of questions as well.
Like his two counterparts, Betances is truly ready to put 2019 behind him and has come to Mets camp in great shape. Spring training games will see just how prepared Betances is for the regular season, but breaking camp on the 26-man roster is the goal he knows he will reach.
"I'll be ready for Opening Day," he said.