There is this assumption, Dellin Betances is the answer. The Mets hope he is that difference maker out of the bullpen with this one-year $10.5 million guaranteed contact with options for the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
And to most insiders, the Mets will have that difference maker, assuming the 31-year old Right-Hander recovers from a shoulder injury and partial Achilles tendon tear.
Said a NL insider to yours truly, “Betances is a risk. If he stays healthy, the Mets got a bargain and will have that lethal bullpen.”
As good as this signing is, assuming again that Betances stays on the mound, the Mets did get that missing piece in the bullpen. The objective and mission of GM Brodie Van Wegenen, revamp and obtain their need.
The addition adds to other issues before making more assumptions as to the Mets now having that lethal bullpen. They need a turnaround seasons from Jeurys Familia.
Most of all they need that turnaround from Edwin Diaz, the offseason bust of last year. Diaz, has to rebound and become the closer, a stopper who saved 57 games for the Mariners two years ago.
Justin Wilson and Seth Lugo are expected to continue where they left off and be as reliable as they were in that second half run of last season.
And if Brad Bach, along with the addition of Michael Wacha are successful, rookie manager Carlos Beltran could have that lethal bullpen. Then again, the reliable bullpen guys in baseball could also have a downfall, so anything is possible during the span of a 162-game baseball season.
And all along, it was the failure of the Mets bullpen that cost them to do something more last season.
But, let’s look at the positive here and talk more about this in August. By then, Dellin Betances, a top and late innings reliever, could be a bust or a success.
If anything, this could be a low budget risk. Or it could be a low budget highlight for the Mets 2020 season that does not seek a repeat of 2019 disasters out of the bullpen.
The Mets were not supposed to be in this hunt. Last week there was talk the Dodgers, Phillies, or the Twins were the teams in the mix, and that NL insider said, “Those teams were not willing to go with the risk.”
The risk, Dellin Betances would not be effective and continue to have issues with the shoulder or the Achilles. Mets hierarchy had a different opinion and claim their latest weapon will be ready to go when pitchers and catchers report to spring training in seven weeks.
Next week, at Citi Field, Betances will be formally introduced. He will have facial hair that is not accepted in the Bronx. We are aware of his history with the Yankees after eight seasons, and a familiarity this native New Yorker brings to the table as a perennial All-Star and strikeout artist.
Betances has posted a 2.36 career ERA (100 earned runs/381.2 innings) with 36 saves and 621 strikeouts in 358 major league games with the Yankees. He established a record with 100 strikeouts or more in five consecutive seasons with the Yankees.
He and Diaz gives the Mets two of the top strikeout leaders coming out of a bullpen that baseball has seen two of the last three years.
This all looks good and the Mets may have the ”Four Legged Monster” out of the bullpen with Diaz, Familia, Betances, Wilson, or Seth Lugo.
But the results have to show on the mound and they need to remain healthy.
For now, we will give this a chance. Because the Mets had that need to revamp an area that failed them last season.
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