Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
In an unexpected Christmas gift to fans, the team has agreed to sign reliever Dellin Betances. SNY was first to report the deal.
The agreement, which is for one year with a player option for 2021, guarantees $10.5 million. Betances had the opportunity to sign for more money elsewhere, according to sources, but several factors pulled him toward the Mets.
As a native New Yorker, Betances liked the idea of remaining in his home city. He also wanted to play for his former Yankees teammate Carlos Beltran.
Still, as recently as five days ago, the Mets believed that they were not frontrunners for Betances' services. But over the past several days, GM Brodie Van Wagenen, Mets executive vice president and chief legal officer David Cohen, and Betances' agent Jim Murray worked hard on a creative deal structure, which included a signing bonus and the player option.
The collaboration between those three proved fruitful, and the sides were able to hammer out an agreement in time for the holidays.
Betances, whose arm and Achilles injuries are said to be behind him, is a major signing for the Mets -- who would likely have been a playoff team in 2019 with a slightly better bullpen.
One of the game's most consistent relievers this decade, Betances will provide the Mets with protection, in the event that Edwin Diaz does not return to form. A bullpen of Seth Lugo, Betances and an improved Diaz would suddenly be one of the best in the league.
The Yankees never seemed overly aggressive in their pursuit of Betances this winter. With a stacked bullpen and Chad Green able to pitch multiple innings, the team simply decided to allocate its budget elsewhere -- namely Gerrit Cole.
The loss of Betances, along with Didi Gregorius' departure for Philadelphia, does leave the Yanks without two fan favorites.