With the New York Yankees, Dellin Betances‘ greatest weakness has been his inconsistency. There are games where Betances is locked in, using his fastball, slider, and curveball to keep hitters off balanced. However, there are also games where he loses his control, and loads the bases from only issuing walks. In addition, every single or walk Betances allows has the chance to be like a double because of his inability to hold runners on.
When Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman missed a month with shoulder problems, Betances got the nod to fill in and was outstanding. He started to prove to manager Joe Girardi that he could be trusted to get the final three outs. Betances has had the chance to close before when the Yankees dealt Andrew Miller and Chapman in 2016, but again Betances made critical mistakes including a walk-off home run to Hanley Ramirez, which signaled the end of the Yankees’ season.
Overall, Betances’ numbers in 2017 were still strong, posting a 2.87 ERA with a 15.1 K/9, leading to his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance. The most alarming stat to note is that he walked 44 batters in 59 innings, showing that lack of control. Fast forward to the postseason, where Betances found himself as one of the least trusted pitchers on the roster. There was even discussion about not putting him on the World Series roster if the Yankees had advanced.
Bullpens are extremely important in today’s game, especially in the postseason, and not many teams have displayed that better than the Yankees. Betances has been crucial to the team’s success, but what does it say now that the team was staying away from him in every opportunity possible. The Yankees bullpen would still be deep without Betances, which is why they should entertain offers this winter.
There are plenty of relievers available via free agency, but if Betances became available, he would be right at the top of the list with the names of Greg Holland and Wade Davis. Despite the struggles, Betances is still an incredible talent that many teams would be interested in.
A year ago, Betances underwent the arbitration process, where many players decide not to attend the hearing, because the team talks about all the negatives as to why he should be payed less than he is asking for. When the hearing was over, the controversy just got started.
“No, I’m not an astronaut, and Dellin Betances is not a closer,” Yankees President Randy Levine said.
Betances and his agent let their feelings be heard after that comment, voicing their displeasure.
“… But then they take me in a room and they trash me for about an hour and a half,” Betances said in February. “I thought that was unfair.”
Unfortunately for Betances, that is what happens in arbitration.
Has Betances’ trade value declined over the past few months? Most likely, but a valuable return could still be out there. If the Yankees can turn their All-Star into a couple of young controllable arms with high ceilings, like they did for Justin Wilson acquiring Chad Green and Luis Cessa, it would make sense.
It won’t be easy to trade a hometown kid who has only represented the organization in a positive way, but the Yankees should strongly consider listening.