NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets are giving their fans a bit of a Christmas present.
They announced Tuesday that they signed former Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, whose 2019 season was wrecked by injuries, to a one-year contract with a player option.
According to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, Betances’ deal is worth $10.5 million guaranteed, including a $3 million buyout on his 2021 option.
“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 general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “This is a tremendously exciting gift for Mets fans this holiday season in our championship pursuit.”
‘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
Betances, 31, is a four-time All-Star and generally viewed as one of the best late-inning relievers in baseball. Armed with a fastball that routinely reaches the upper 90s and a wicked curve, he went 21-22 with a 2.36 ERA and 621 strikeouts in 358 appearances over his first eight seasons, all with the Yankees.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound right-hander became a regular in the Bombers’ bullpen in 2014, posting a 1.40 ERA with 135 strikeouts in 90 innings, spanning 70 appearances. He posted ERAs of 1.50, 3.08, 2.87 and 2.70 from 2015-18 before suffering what was eventually diagnosed as a bone spur behind his right shoulder, an injury that sidelined him until mid-September of this past season.
When Betances finally returned on Sept. 15 against the Blue Jays in Toronto, he struck out the only two batters he faced, but tore his left Achilles as he hopped off the mound following the second strikeout, ending his season.
The addition of Betances gives the Mets a needed power arm in what was a thin bullpen last season. Betances joins a relief corps that currently includes right-handers Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Brad Brach, Jeurys Familia, and closer Edwin Diaz, plus lefty Justin Wilson.
“I love New York,” Betances said. “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!”
So far, it has been an active offseason for the Mets, who went 86-76 and were the last team eliminated in the NL wild card race in 2019. They earlier added starting pitching depth by signing veteran right handers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.
To make room for Betances on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated outfielder Sam Haggerty for assignment.