Undeniably, I was one in the Dodger Nation who became excited when first whispers trickled out about Dellin Betances and the Dodgers. Then, actual reports surfaced that the Dodgers identified Betances as a free agent target to bolster the bullpen. Remember, Andrew Friedman said candidly that a reliever who could help Kenley Jansen in the closers role would be ideal.
While the Dodgers signed Blake Treinen, adding Betances as an additional luxury would have been a welcomed move. As we have learned, having a surplus of bullpen arms is never a bad thing.
Now however, dreams of Betances wearing Dodger blue have gone by the wayside. On Christmas Eve, the New York Mets have signed Betances to a one-year contract.
‘Twas the night before Christmas…When we signed four-time All-Star RHP Dellin Betances (@DBetances68) to a one-year contract with a player option for 2021!
— New York Mets (@Mets) December 24, 2019
In addition, the contract includes a player option for 2021. This news was first announced by Andy Martino of SNY on twitter early on Tuesday afternoon.
Here is what Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has to say of his new toy via the NY Daily News.
“Dellin is one of the elite relievers in the game with an incredible track record of pitching on the biggest stage and in playoff games. This is a tremendously exciting gift for Mets fans this holiday season in our championship pursuit.”
Obviously, that part about Betances being a ‘holiday gift’ for Mets fans and it coming on Christmas Eve smarts a little bit; just a little bit.
Perhaps the Dodgers did not want to offer beyond a one-year deal to Betances, or shifted the focus elsewhere. On a transaction like this, it’s possible we never learn why Betances to the Dodgers didn’t happen. Still, it’s hard to deny the obvious fit and small amount of risk involved with signing Betances.
Another reason for the reliever signing with the Mets is likely the New York roots he established with the Yankees for 8 seasons. Joel Sherman confirms as much.
Big issues for Betances: Good friends with Beltran (who he played with as #Yankees) and their wives are also close. Also, his achilles doctor, Martin O’Malley, is NY based. Plus #Mets team doctor, David Altchek, was 2d opinion on his shoulder last season and knows Betances well
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 24, 2019
Finally for the Dodgers – the question remains; aside from signing Blake Treinen – what has Los Angeles done to improve the on-field product in 2020? We will await your answers in the comment section below.