Dellin Betances will be exercising his 2021 player option with the Mets, becoming the second Mets reliever in two days to do so after it was reported that Brad Brach would be exercising his player option.
The Mets signed Betances, coming off an injury-ravaged 2019 with the Yankees, to a one-year deal on Christmas Eve last year. The deal included a player option at $6.8 million, or a $3 million buyout, but with the market shaping up to be brutal for free agents and with teams looking to slash payroll after claiming massive financial losses, it’s a smart move for the imposing right-hander as he tries to regain some of what made him a force out of the bullpen for the Yankees in 2014-2018.
Betances had a rough 2020, posting a 7.71 ERA, a 4.91 FIP, a 2.06 WHIP, and a -0.2 bWAR in 15 outings with the Mets. His fastball velocity, which averaged just under 98mph from 2014-2018, fell to an average of under 94mph in 2020 according to Brooks Baseball, and he never quite appeared like his old self over the course of the shortened season. After picking up the loss against the Yankees on August 29 on a walk-off wild pitch, he landed on the injured list with right lat tightness and only returned on the season’s final weekend. He finished the year giving up three earned runs in one-third of an inning on the season’s final game.
With Betances and Brach both on board, the Mets bullpen looks to feature many of the same players as it did in 2020, barring any unforeseen trades. Along with the two righties, Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia will be a part of the pen, so the general core will mostly remain in tact. Improving the bullpen will be one of the front office’s biggest challenges heading into this offseason, and Sandy Alderson and company will need to be creative.