At one point during December’s Winter Meetings, it looked like the Dodgers were hot on the trail of reliever Dellin Betances, but once Los Angeles snagged righty Blake Treinen, it appeared that the interest in Betances may have subsided.
Back in November, it seemed as if the Mets were in the driver’s seat to land the 31-year-old Brooklyn native. It’s no secret that Betances is friends with new skipper Carlos Beltran and that he would probably prefer to remain in New York; but it may get a little difficult for the Metropolitans, especially if they find themselves in a bidding war with division rival Philadelphia.
The last real indicator of what the four-time All-Star is seeking was a reported one-year offer worth about $10 million. The reasoning is that a decent performance during his upcoming campaign—while proving his durability—could be the springboard to a bigger deal spanning several years at the end of the 2020 season.
The crazy thing is, though, Betances was evidently close to a multi-year extension with the Yankees before he blew out his shoulder at the beginning of the 2019 season. A deal was never made, and once the 6-foot-8, 265-pounder became healthy enough to pitch again, he promptly tore his Achilles in mid-September, keeping him on the shelf for the remainder of the season.
Since the Treinen signing became official, there has not been much chatter regarding the Dodgers’ continued pursuit of Betances. As it stands now, it appears to be a three-team race for his services between the Yankees, Mets and Phillies.
Betances owns a career 2.36 ERA and a 2.31 FIP with a 14.64 K/9 alongside a 0.61 home runs allowed per nine. His 11.3 WAR ranks sixth among all MLB relievers since making his debut in 2011, despite missing all of the 2012 and 2019 seasons.
In 2018, he made 66 appearances and threw 66-2/3 innings with the Yankees, producing a 2.70 ERA with a whopping 115 punchouts. His benchmark campaign came back in 2014 when he posted a 1.40 ERA, a 1.64 FIP and a 0.778 WHIP alongside 135 strikeouts over 90 innings in 70 games.
During a five-year stretch from 2014-18, no big league reliever amassed more innings than Betances’ 373-1/3 frames. His bread and butter is his four-seam, consistently sitting in the 97-99 MPH range throughout the course of his career.
Some opinions are that the Dodgers were (at one point) interested in both Betances and Treinen. Los Angeles eventually snagged Treinen on a one-year pact worth $10 million. From that point on, the rumors of the Dodgers being linked to Betances have been sparse.
On one hand, the addition of Betances to the Dodgers’ bullpen could potentially boost the team tremendously, but on the other hand, it would add another huge element of risk alongside Treinen.
The 31-year-old Treinen is coming off of a disappointing season that saw him tally a uncharacteristic 4.91 ERA and a 5.14 FIP over 57 appearances and 58-2/3 innings. These numbers came one year after he posted a ridiculous 0.78 ERA and 1.82 FIP in 68 appearances.
Betances threw just eight regular-season pitches last year.
According to rough calculations, the Dodgers should still have about $20 million dollars to spend this offseason while still remaining under the Luxury Tax threshold.