When right-handed reliever Dellin Betances — who signed a deal with the New York Mets worth $10.5 million guaranteed on Tuesday, a source confirmed, and could be valued up to $14.5 million — makes his Citi Field debut on March 29, 2020, he’ll complete his five-borough tour.
You see, Betances, 31, has a connection with four of the five boroughs, and will complete his New York City journey in due course.
“I love New York,” Betances said in a statement. “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.”
The New York Yankees drafted the Lower East Side native in the eighth-round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft out of Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn, where he struck out 20 John Adams (Queens) batters and allowed just one hit in a contest in his senior year.
Betances began his professional career with the Gulf Coast Yankees in ’06 and then pitched for Staten Island in 2007, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.60 ERA in 25 innings of work in six games.
Though Betances was limited to just one game last season, due to a shoulder injury and a partial Achilles tendon tear, he has displayed terrific stuff in the past. The six-foot-eight, 265-pounder fanned at least 100 batters in five straight seasons (2014-18), and reach a career rate of 14.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
But the four-time All-Star expects to return to his old form before the start of Spring Training.
If Edwin Díaz and Jeurys Familia, both of whom struggled in 2019, can improve upon last year’s dismal numbers, the Mets’ bullpen will have a solid core. Add in recently inked Brad Brach, Justin Wilson, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and another likely reliever, and New York’s pen should be effective.
For now, Betances appears to be happy that he’s staying pat in NYC.