Dellin Betances said Thursday at Citi Field about the Mets, “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the organization. I’m excited. I’m already at home.”
And it did not take long for Betances, now a key part of a revamped Mets bullpen, to make his decision to jump across town. Carlos Beltran, a former teammate with the Yankees is his manager.
Beltran may have been the instrumental part of this one-year deal of $10,5 million and vesting options for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
The Mets are better in the bullpen, assuming as stated here, turnaround seasons come Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia. 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.
They have Brad Bach, Robert Gsellman and the addition of Michael Wacha. Some are saying this is a lethal bullpen and that remains to be proved after finishing next to last in baseball last year.
So there will be skepticism based on many factors, mainly, Betances, rebounding from a right shoulder injury and partial Achilles tendon tear. After a 60-day stint on the injured list, his September 15 season debut in the Bronx was cut short with the low-grade lat strain.
But there could also be room for optimism with this bullpen. Betances did not get surgery and said he is ready for spring training. And, if healthy, this could be the key for a turnaround that puts the Mets in good position.
“ Our expectation is he should be ready to go,” said General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen. “I don’t think there will be any restrictions once we get to Spring Training.”
Beltran was not available. He was enjoying those last days of a vacation at his home in Puerto Rico. When the season begins, and if this bullpen is as lethal as it looks, the rookie manager will have plenty of options and flexibility.
Betances talked about his role with the manager. The Mets were a good fit. Betances said, he is home and is expected to be the late inning stopper. The Yankees are in the past, and according to sources were never in the process of re-signing the Right-hander.
Beltran has the options. If Diaz can’t revert to that 57-game closer, and that may be asking too much, Betances could become the closer. He has that experience.
“Whatever they see me in, I want to do whatever I can to help the team win,” Betances said.
He 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. Betances also established a record with 100 strikeouts or more in five consecutive seasons with the Yankees.
If effective, the fastball and slider are lethal and the Mets could not get that type of production last year out of the pen.
“He didn’t want to just restablish himself ,” Van Wegenen said. “He didn’t just want to go out and perform his normal job. He wanted to dominate, and he expressed that very clearly.”
And that is what the Mets hope to see- dominance from the bullpen. They could have that weapon, possibly the best bullpen in the NL East, a top three in baseball if effective, and again that word is dominant.
It was the mission of the general manager to revamp a part of this team that was a major failure.
Betances had that different look when he stood at the podium Thursday. The facial hair, not a part of the Yankees look, and of course the Mets blue and orange was obvious a difficult take for a Yankees fan.
A welcome addition for Carlos Beltran. He had something to do with this for Betances to stay in New York.
“As soon as he got the managerial job, I think he kind of pushed the name Dellin Betances, as far as management, so he definitely played a big part,” Betances said.
“Always one of the topics was, “We would love to have you. And I’ve told them all, the management, that we want you. So hopefully we get to have you’ And now, it happened.”
Yes, it did happen. And Brodie Van Wagenen was not talking about this being a risk. This was about his mission of improving the Mets bullpen.
“We believe that a healthy and dominant Dellin, combined with Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson, Jeurys Familia, Brad Bach,, Robert Gsellman, this collective group has the potential to be one of the best bullpens in baseball,” he said.
Time will tell. Dellin Betances stayed in his surroundings of New York. In August, we will determine if Betances and the others have made this one of the best bullpens in baseball.
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