What should the Yankees do with Dellin Betances?

When president Randy Levine stated Dellin Betances was not worth “closer’s money”, along with other questionable comments in the 2017 offseason, Yankee fans were outraged towards Levine and defended Betances. Betances looked to put it behind him by proving doubters, specifically Levine, wrong and continue to be one of the most dominant relievers in the game. Now with the 2017 season in the books, Betances’ future with the Yankees is in serious doubt after a rocky, disappointing season by his standards. Should they keep him or try and trade him away?

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Both sides of this argument are certainly defendable and let's start with why the Yankees should trade him. Betances tailed off, for whatever reason, after the brawl with the Tigers back on August 24th. His control issues got even worse and his ERA climbed from the low 2.00s to 2.87 by season’s end, which was actually lower than his 2016 ERA. He was so ineffective though in the last month or so of the regular season that he fell to the bottom of the bullpen pecking order. Being the sixth option, he was only brought in for low leverage situations, mainly in blowout games. Betances’ struggles continued into the postseason, as he made just five appearances in the Yankees’ 13 games. In the four innings of work, Betances allowed two runs with a WHIP of 1.75 while striking out six. It was obvious that manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild had lost confidence in Betances to go out and pitch effectively. Betances has always been a bit erratic, but those problems were amplified down the stretch and into the postseason. The Yankees could certainly consider Betances expendable with five already dominant arms in Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, and Adam Warren.

Onto the part with why the Yankees should stick with Betances.  If you saw Yankee fans’ reactions to Betances this season you'd think he had an ERA in the 5.00s. Well he actually was his normal dominant self for much of the season. His ERA sat in the low 2.00s for much of the season and even an ERA of 2.87 along with a 15.1 K/9 rate, his numbers by season’s end, is still plausible. There is no denying that he was pretty horrid after that aforementioned brawl with the Tigers, but with the five consistently shutdown arms all in the bullpen for at least one more season, Betances is a heck of a sixth option out of the ‘pen. He surely hit a few bumps in the road in 2017, but before that he was still very dominant. You don’t have to have him as an eighth inning guy and you don’t even have to use him in high leverage situations, but instead bring him in during blowouts and make him earn the right to be pitching in big spots again. When he’s on, he’s arguably the best or second-best reliever in this bullpen and one of the top five arms in the game. With his lively, high 90s fastball and incredibly dirty curveball, the four-time All-Star reliever Betances should be able to bounce back in 2017.

Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports

The 2017 offseason is certainly crucial for Betances to try and fix the control issues that have gotten worse and worse as his career has gone on. If you’re the Yankees and you’re considering trading him, now would certainly be the best time to do that, considering his trade value may not get any higher especially if he continues to decline like this. In the end though, I expect Betances to bounce back and think he is too good of an arm to just give up on after a few horrible months. If he continues those struggles into July of 2018, then you could trade him for whatever value he has left.

Article by: Spencer Schultz


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