Dellin Betances Reportedly Retiring – MLB Trade Rumors

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relief pitcher Dellin Betances has decided to retire, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post. The 34-year-old is apparently hanging up his cleats after a career that included serving in parts of ten seasons with the Yankees and Mets. He had struck a minor league deal with the Dodgers’ organization earlier this year.

Betances was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2006 draft and was a starting pitcher in his early years as a pro. However, command problems and various injuries eventually pushed Betances into more relief work as he rose through the ranks. He only made one MLB start, coming back in 2011.

The move to the bullpen worked fabulously for both the Betances and the Yankees, beginning with a tremendous outburst in 2014. Despite only having 7 2/3 innings of MLB experience that year, he ended up throwing over 70 assists during 90 innings this campaign. He registered an ERA of just 1.40, along with an incredible 39.6% strikeout rate, 7% walk rate, and 46.6% ground ball rate. He came third in the American League Rookie of the Year poll Jose Abreu and Matt Schuhmacher.

This will arguably count as Betance’s best season, although he was still an incredibly effective helper over the next four years. In a five-year run that began with this 2014 season and ran through 2018, he pitched 374 innings, averaging nearly 75 per season. He posted a 2.21 combined ERA during that time, hitting a whopping 40.4% of batters despite walking 10.7% of them, and getting grounders on 48.1% of balls in the game. According to FanGraphs, he notched 11.3 wins at that stretch over the backup, who was third among all assists in baseball and just behind Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. He made the All-Star Team for four consecutive seasons beginning with this 2014 campaign.

Unfortunately, that five-year dominance was followed by four years of frustration, mostly due to injuries. In 2019 he was on the injured list due to shoulder impingement. He didn’t make his season debut until September, but tore his Achilles tendon in that game just 2/3 of an inning.

Despite losing essentially the entire season, Betances was a highly touted reliever given his track record to date. He agreed to a contract with the Mets that netted him $7.5 million in 2020, along with a $6 million player option for 2021 that came with a $3 million buyout. He came in 15 games that year with the Mets but struggled mightily. He registered a 7.71 ERA during that time, with his speed noticeably reduced and his strikeout rate significantly reduced. He also walked 20.3% of the batters he faced in that short span of time. He was put on the injured list in late August with a lat pull and has not been able to return. After that show, he decided to redeem his $6 million player option rather than return to free agency. He pitched just one inning for the Mets that year, which came in an April 7 appearance that will eventually go down in history as his last major appearance. He went to IL with a shoulder impingement and eventually required surgery at the end of the season. His contract also included a vesting option for 2022, where Betances would have a $1m player option if he competed in 50 games in 2021, which he fell far short of.

Upon returning to free reign, he signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers for 2022. Though he was ineffective for a number of years, the Dodgers were willing to jump at the chance to see if he regained his former form could. If he had cracked the majors, he would have made $2.75 million, with other incentives available. Unfortunately, he’s logged a 10.26 ERA in 16 2/3 minor league innings this year and led 16.5% of the batters he faced on foot. After another frustrating series of events, it seems that Betances have decided to walk away.

Despite the disappointing results of the past few seasons, Betances will surely be remembered for that five-year run in pinstripes in which he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the world. He spent five full seasons instilling fear in opposing teams and their fans whenever he stepped onto the mound. He finished his career with 394 1/3 innings in 374 games. He will go down in the record books with a 2.53 ERA, 36 saves, 121 holds and 633 strikeouts. At MLBTR, we congratulate Betances on an excellent career and wish him well in his post-game efforts.

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