Mets free agent target Dellin Betances is "likely" to sign a one-year deal in an effort to increase his value and hit the market again in 2020, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network.
Curry added that the Yankees have engaged with Betances, who he says attended a congratulatory dinner for Carlos Beltran after Beltran was named manager of the Mets.
Betances, who will turn 32 before Opening Day, pitched just 2/3 of an inning in 2019 after dealing with a lat injury. He returned toward the end of the season, but suffered an Achilles injury in his only appearance that ended his year.
Betances was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball from 2014-2018, posting a 2.22 ERA (2.26 FIP) and 1.02 WHIP with 607 strikeouts in 373.1 IP (349 appearances). That dominance didn't come without blips, though, with Betances struggling so badly in 2017 that it impacted his usage in the playoffs.
Still, Betances arguably has the best combination of upside and history of any free agent reliever left on the market. And if he's open to a one-year deal, he will likely have a lof of suitors.
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said earlier this offseason that he was focused on improving the team's defense (which he has done to an extent by acquiring Jake Marisnick), adding to the starting rotation, and improving the bullpen.
With the potential that the Mets could slide Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman to the rotation to fill the open slot, it seems like the one area the Mets are certain to upgrade between now and the end of the offseason is the bullpen.
It can be argued that after re-signing Brad Brach the Mets need two more relievers. Signing Betances would be a good start toward that end.