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.
Dellin Betances is the subject of rumors and the Mets are still in the game to acquire the former Yankees reliever. Betances, coming off a 2019 season that included a partial tear of his left Achilles Tendon is one of those prime names that remains on the market.
This has been an active free agent off-season which throws away the debate about collusion and the owners. At this juncture last year, baseball free agency was all about collusion and big names remained on the market.
Manny Machado signed a multi-year contract with the San Diego Padres and Bruce Harper the same with the Phillies as the two top targets in free agency.
The contracts came late in the game and a few weeks before the start of the season.
Not this time around. That debate about collusion from the owners was short lived. More so, the hefty contracts of half a billion dollars granted to pitchers, Gerit Cole (Yankees) and Stephen Strasburg (Nationals) signed the past few weeks.
Much earlier than last year, and at a feverish pace, again throw away a debate that owners were holding back on mega contracts for players.
The game is healthy, though Mets fans, accustomed to being bypassed, await the billion dollar check book of Steve Cohen.
The Mets could use Betances, and there is that need for GM Brodie Van Wagenen to make the improvements in the pen, of course with hopes that Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz will have that turnaround.
And yes, a bullpen with reliable Familia, Diaz, and Justin Wilson could make a difference for the Mets to play baseball in October. It was that pen that blew 21 saves and was next to worse in baseball.
Only the Boston Red Sox bullpen was worse in 2019.
So, adding Dellin Betances to the Mets bullpen mix, a one-year deal at a low cost, does seems viable. The Phillies and Twins have also been reported to be looking at signing Betances.
In 2018, the Betances numbers with the Yankees, 2.70 ERA and over a 40 percent strikeout rate, that went a long way. And as a late innings reliever, Betances is that threat coming out of the pen, again a perfect for the need of this Mets bullpen,
But consider what one NL insider said to yours truly. “A risk signing coming off an injury and the last thing the Mets need is another bust coming out of the bullpen.”
Yes, Mets fans saw too much of that in 2019 with the failure of Edwin Diaz and his 7 blown saves. And that goes with the failure of infielder Robinson Cano, who came to Citi Field with Diaz in the first splash made by Van Wegenen.
Let’s be the GM here. Assuming, Jed Lowrie and $10 million could be free, assuming Van Wagenen can work a deal with another team, though Lowrie brings that injury plagued season of 2019 to the table, it is possible that a low cost and one-year deal can be had for Betances.
Creative, we know about the Mets’ GM. He has shown that ability to make moves, though awkward to say the least.
Gio Gonzalez is another name off the table. Mets fans know him well, a 11-1 record when pitching on the other side at Citi Field, bypassed as a free agent last offseason who could have filled a starting or bullpen role.
But the Mets bypassed him last offseason, and Gonzalez signed a one-year $5 million deal with the White Sox that also has club options.
Dellin Betances is in line for a similar deal. But, coming off an injury and with limited innings pitched in 2019, the right-hander could be a risk for the Mets.
Their offseason needs have included the signing of pitchers Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello, one-year deals that added more depth to the rotation and either could be used out of the pen.
Outfielder Jake Marisnick? Not the big splash. The 28-year old, with good defensive skills, comes to Citi Field after six years with the Astros.
There is flexibility here for the Mets. They can take a low budget risk and sign Dellin Betances.
But the last thing the Mets’ GM needs, is another bust. There are other options and Dellin Betances is not the answer for a bullpen that needs to perform for the Mets to play baseball in October that has not happened since 2016.