Early Tuesday afternoon, the Mets gave their fans an early Christmas gift, signing Dellin Betances to a one-year, $10.5 million deal ($13 million if he appears in 70 games). SNY’s Andy Martino had the signing first, while Jeff Passan had the details. Betances made it official himself on his Instagram.
The Mets land themselves a potential top-three reliever when healthy. With a 100-mph fastball and a curveball/slurve/knuckle-curve/whatever that filth of a breaking ball is, he has limited opposing hitters to a .165 xBA, .248 xwOBA, and .253 xSLG. His 11.3 fWAR since his first full season in 2014 ranks third (only Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen rank higher) among all relievers. In that same time frame, he ranks in the top five in multiple categories, including ERA (2.21, 5th), FIP (2.25, 2nd), xFIP (2.27, 1st), SIERA (2.27, 4th), and K% (40.4%, 3rd). The only thing that hindered his market was an injury-ridiculed season, losing all but one late-season Toronto appearance due to bone spurs in his right shoulder, and losing the remainder of the season to a partially torn Achilles tendon (he should be at full strength before spring training).
Betances adds to a back-end of a bullpen that features Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo. Lugo is coming off his best season, with a 2.70 ERA and FIP, 3.24 xFIP, 2.78 SIERA, and 2.62 pCRA to back up those numbers. On the other hand, Diaz is coming off the worst year of his life, recording a 5.59 ERA, 4.51 FIP, and a 45.3% hard-hit percentage (the latter 13th among pitchers with 100 batted ball events). However, his peripherals, which include a 2.63 SIERA and a 2.95 pCRA (18th among 2019 relievers), and a .277 opponent xwOBA bode well for a resurgence in 2020.
For Betances, a native New Yorker, all he has to do is take a quick drive across the Whitestone Bridge. For the Mets, assuming all three relievers are healthy and at 100 percent, the Mets enter the 2020 season with an undisputed top-three bullpen in all of baseball. Only a season removed from having a bullpen that finished 24th in fWAR (0.7), this would be a major offseason accomplishment, as the Mets look to compete in 2020.
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