Dellin Betances Free Agent Preview: Another Cup of Joe?

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Credit to the New York Times

Coming off an essentially sunk season, Dellin Betances is hitting the free-agent market entering his age-32 season. According to reports, the reliever will be looking at a one year deal to rebuild value.  After a five-year stretch of absolute dominance, Betances finally succumbed to the inevitable injury bug. For a pitcher of his size (6’8”, 265 lbs) and throwing velocity, there is always a fear of injury.  Betances began the season on the IL with a strained lat, had multiple setbacks, and suffered a partial tear in his Achilles once he debuted in September.  Unfortunately for him, all of this came during the final year of his contract.  Despite five seasons of incredible pitching, there will be some limitations to his market and he will likely be looking at an incentives-laden deal.

His Case:

Betances was arguably one of the best relievers in baseball from 2014-2018 before a completely lost 2019. In that successful span, Betances put up the following stats:

  • Averaged 373.1 IP, 2.22 ERA, 2.26 FIP, 121 K – 32 BB (14.6 K/9)
  • 4 All-Star games
  • 3rd in ROY in 2014
  • 14th in CY voting in 2015

Unfortunately, he has some big negatives that may ultimately cost him in free agency.

  1. Multiple Injuries in 2019
  2. Age (32 in March 2020)

Free Agent Comparisons:

Credit to CBS Sports

The best free-agent comparisons of recent memory are below.  All are encompassing a “comeback” deal and either were previously dominant or owned high potential.

  • Mike Minor in 2016 (2 yrs/$7.25M) for age 28-29 seasons (1st season was rehabbing)
  • Trevor Rosenthal in 2018 (1 yr/$7M) for his age 29 season
  • Greg Holland in 2017 (1 yr/$7M +$8M in possible incentives) for age 31 season


  1. Los Angeles Angels

The Angels have already spent a lot this offseason but their pitching remains a concern.  With no clear-cut favorite for the 9th inning, the Angels could offer him a chance to close.  While not “sexy”, Betances would pair with Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian, and Hansel Robles to make a formidable bullpen.

  1. Philadelphia Phillies

With new skipper Joe Giradi, the Phillies could provide some familiarity for Betances.  While another ex-Yankee (David Robertson) likely won’t pitch for them in 2020, Betances could help fortify a pen that struggled in 2019.

  1. Texas Rangers

Texas is moving into a new ballpark in 2020 and is reportedly looking to spend.  With Jose LeClerc possibly being on the move and Shawn Kelley a free agent, the Rangers could look to add an arm to the pen.  If the season doesn’t start off well, they could flip him at the deadline to add to their farm system.

  1. Minnesota Twins

The Twins haven’t been able to land any of the top pitchers on the market but they clearly have money to spend.  With Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Trevor May returning in 2020, the Twins could add to the bullpen to shorten the games.

  1. New York Mets

With Yoenis Cespedes’ amended salary, the Mets have some more money to spend in 2020.  Their bullpen acquisitions bombed in 2019 but they have to be better in 2020, right?  Betances, Jeurys Familia, and Edwin Diaz is intriguing on paper.


1 years / $7M (+ up to $3M in incentives) to sign with the Phillies

Author Twitter: @TheRealKraken24

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