Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Mets Make Major Move To Bolster Bullpen By Signing Betances

Dellin Betances with the Yankees.

The Mets made a major move to address the strength of their bullpen by signing one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, Dellin Betances, to a one-year deal, with a player option for the 2021 season.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated infielder Sam Haggerty for assignment.

Betances, 31, has pitched for the Yankees since he came up in 2014, and he was the first reliever in baseball history to have 100 or more strikeouts in five consecutive seasons (2014-2018). He led all major league relievers in strikeouts in each year from 2014-2016.

Since 2014, the 6-8, 265-pounder leads all major league relievers with 609 strikeouts over 374.0 innings. His 11.3 WAR (FanGraphs) over that period is the third-highest in the majors among relievers. His career 14.6 strikeout per nine innings rate is the third-highest in the modern era (min. 200 innings).

“I love New York,” said Betances. “I grew up in Manhattan. Went to high school in Brooklyn. Played minor league ball in Staten Island. Made it to the big leagues in the Bronx. Now, I’m excited to go win a World Series with the Mets in Queens. Thanks to Fred and Jeff, Brodie, and all the other Mets staff who worked so hard to make possible this next step in my New York journey. Merry ChristMets! Let’s Go METS!”

Betances was an All-Star from 2014 to 2017, and was named The Sporting News AL Reliever of the Year in 2014 and 2015. The New York City native has held opponents to a .153 (60-392) batting average with runners in scoring position for his career, the second-lowest mark in the majors since 1974. Among active pitchers (min. 300 innings), he owns the third-lowest career batting average against (.170).

“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,” Mets Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “This is a tremendously exciting gift for Mets fans this holiday season in our championship pursuit.”

From 2015-2018, Betances’ overall opponents exit velocity was 84.6 percent, tied for the third-lowest among major league pitchers (min. 500 batted balls).

Betances was limited to just one appearance in 2019 due to injuries.

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 in The Bronx.

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