The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman have to decide on relief pitcher Dellin Betances this upcoming off-season.
Betances failed to play a majority of the 2019 season, suffering from shoulder and lat issues. However, the big righty did make his debut on September 15, striking out a pair of Toronto Blue Jays before tearing his Achilles tendon and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
This was not ideal for the relief pitcher, considering it was a contract year, and he was looking to cash in on a dominant season.
His injuries occurred at the worst possible time, but the Yankees have to decide on his future and whether or not he fits their plans for the 2020 season. It is not an easy decision to make, considering the severity of the injury and how it could affect him in the future.
Betances has struggled to develop into an elite set up man and potential closer. Still, the re-signing of Aroldis Chapman for three years should alleviate the Yankees concern in that category.
Betances has been fantastic in setting up Chapman in recent seasons, but they have plenty of options (Zack Britton being a favorable one) and can go out and sign another bullpen arm to replace him if need be.
Why the Yankees could retain him:
New York’s bullpen looked inconsistent during the postseason, as Adam Ottavino, who was stellar during regular season play, struggled immensely to take down the Houston Astros hitters.
Betances is the only reliever with five consecutive 100-strikeouts seasons, featuring a blazing fastball and buckling curveball. His abilities are undoubtedly attractive, but coming back from an Achilles tear is not ideal for the Bombers and their hopes for a dominant bullpen.
The expectation is that Betances will earn somewhere in the $10 million range next season, which could be allocated towards another pitcher or an excellent starter. It ultimately boils down to Brian Cashman and how much he wants to invest in other positions. Is it worth utilizing that $10 million somewhere else, or is Betances that important to the bullpen?