It seems like the hot stove is moving a lot faster this season than in the past. And just yesterday, noted Scott Reinen favorite Mike Moustakas signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Reds. The reliever market has moved faster than anticipated, with both Will Smith and Drew Pomeranz off the board before December.
Those early signings put my favorite pitcher, Dellin Betances, in an interesting position. After Will Harris, he is likely the most desirable reliever left on the board. And he is certainly the most talented. Over the past four seasons, here are Betances’ rank among relievers in the following stats:
Those are some truly incredible ranks, and the show how dominant Dellin has been for an extended period of time. Many relievers can have one or two great seasons, but sustaining it for three-plus years like Betances has is what sets him apart.
In case you forgot how amazing he is since he only faced two batters this season, here are some reminders
Dellin Betances, 98mph Fastball and 86mph Curveball, Overlay.
Betances spent the majority of the season on the IL with a right shoulder injury. And when he came back, he tore his left Achilles celebrating after a strikeout. The good news is it appears he is fully recovered from the shoulder injury, and the Achilles tear is minor enough that he avoided surgery.
Zack Britton also suffered an Achilles injury during 2017. When he came back in 2018, he was noticeably rusty. This graph shows his rolling xFIP:
For the first 20 or so games in 2018 after coming back from the injury, Britton struggled. His xFIP hovered around 4.00. Towards the end of the year, you can see the improvement. What that tells us is it takes some time to recover from the injury, but that it can be done.
Britton initially feared the injury would be career ending, yet he was pitching well during the next season. Betances’ injury is not as serious as Britton’s, and his doctor said he can have a normal offseason. I would expect Dellin to start the year off slow like usual, but rebound around the All-Star break and return to his normal dominant self by the end of the year.
Will Smith signed a three-year deal with a $13.3 million AAV and Drew Pomeranz signed a four-year deal with a $8.5 million AAV. I do not expect Betances to sign such a long-term contract – maybe a one-year deal with an option for a second year. I could see something like one year guaranteed for $8 million with an option for a second year at $10 million.
There have been reports the Yankees are interested in Blake Treinen who was estimated to earn $8 million through arbitration. John will have more on that tomorrow, but if you ask me, why sign Treinen when you can re-sign the guy who has been one of the best relievers the past half-decade?
Let’s hope the Yankees re-sign Dellin and we can all do this jump celebration without injuring ourselves.