As a New York native who was in the Yankees organization since 2006, Dellin Betances opened up about his time wearing pinstripes coming to an end.
After more than a decade in the organization, the Yankees passed on re-signing Betances, who ultimately inked a one-year deal with the Mets. Betances suffered a right shoulder impingement and had a lat strain that kept him on the injured list to start the 2019 season, and partially tore his left Achilles during Sept. 15's debut, effectively ending an eight-season run with the Yankees.
When he was introduced Thursday at Citi Field by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, Betances was asked about if there were any regrets with how his Yankees chapter closed.
"I don't think so," Betances said. "I'm actually blessed to be here in this uniform, being able to stay here in New York City, great market. I'm definitely excited, being here with the Mets."
A four-time All-Star as a Yankee, Betances goes from the Bronx to Queens happy with the Mets. Betances' deal has a player option for the 2021 season, and keeps the product of Progress High School in Brooklyn home rather than going to another market. While the Yankees are locked and loaded in the bullpen, the Mets get a big boost if Betances can stay healthy.
"I'm not bitter -- I got the chance to live out my dream," Betances said. "I signed there. I spent a lot of years there. I appreciate all of those guys ... the Steinbrenner family, (Brian) Cashman. I got the chance to talk to Cash. There's no bitter feeling.
"I'm excited for this new opportunity. I'm excited to get back on the field. Last year was hard for me. I enjoy winning and I wasn't able to be there for my guys, so that was hard. (But) I'm excited for this 2020 season."
From the Lower East Side...to Brooklyn...to Staten Island...to the Bronx...- SNY (@SNYtv) January 2, 2020
And now to Queens. pic.twitter.com/jXeliwXHPo
Betances declined to go into detail on others team that expressed interest, only saying there were "a lot" of franchises involved. The Philles were one team reportedly tied to Betances, given that former Yankees manager Joe Girardi (2008-17) is now at the helm in Philadelphia. Girardi followed through with one former Yankee, signing SS Didi Gregorius to a one-year deal worth $14 million.
"There were a lot of teams -- I can't really (say)," Betances said. "There were a lot of teams involved. I can't really say who. It's not fair to those teams. But there were a lot of teams involved. Ultimately, we're excited to stay here in New York."
With the Mets, Betances has plenty of familiar ties, including former Yankees teammates Carlos Beltran and Robinson Cano. Betances raved about his relationship with Beltran, whom he played with from 2014-16 and pointed to as a key factor in the Mets signing him. Cano, meanwhile, was also a Yankees teammate of Betances' from 2011-13 and, after five years with the Seattle Mariners, came back home to New York with the Mets.
"I did (keep in touch with Cano) -- I speak to Robinson often, and he was one of the guys that gave me the pitch on how good they treat their players here and how excited he is with the team they have, and he spoke very highly of Brodie. So he was one of the guys that helped me make this decision."