Dellin Betances’ comeback season from injury rated as a disappointment, but he will receive another opportunity with the Mets in 2021.
The right-handed reliever on Sunday exercised his player option for next season, worth $6 million. Another Mets reliever, Brad Brach, exercised a player option worth $2.075 million.
Betances, 32, appeared in 15 games last season for the Mets, pitching to a 7.71 ERA and 2.057 WHIP. He spent nearly a month on the injured list with a lat strain before returning for the final weekend of the regular season in Washington.
In a market that will be flooded by relievers this offseason, Betances’ decision to exercise his player option seemed obvious even though he would have received a $3 million buyout if he chose to become a free agent.
As part of his deal last winter, Betances received a signing bonus worth $5.3 million that was not subject to reduction, like straight salary was due to the shortened season caused by the pandemic.
Betances missed almost all of the 2019 season with the Yankees with a lat strain and torn left Achilles. The Mets took a gamble on him last winter as a potential high-upside reliever who could join Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz to give the team three power arms in the late innings.
But Betances may have never been healthy enough to contribute at a high level. Late in the season, when Betances was attempting to return from the injured list, manager Luis Rojas said the reliever admitted he was pitching with lat discomfort almost from Opening Day.
Betances struggled with his velocity, as his fastball hovered in the low 90s. Upon returning to the team for the final weekend, he had increased to the 95-96 mph range.
The Mets will have need for additional bullpen help this winter, with left-hander Justin Wilson a free agent. Also, the team never replaced Seth Lugo, who was forced into the starting rotation because of need. It’s uncertain whether the right-hander Lugo will remain in the rotation next season or return to the bullpen.
Brach, 34, also struggled. The right-hander tested positive for COVID-19 in summer camp and returned to the team in August, finishing with a 5.84 ERA and 1.784 ERA in 14 appearances.
The Mets extended a qualifying offer to Marcus Stroman worth $18.9 million for next season. The right-hander has until Nov. 11 to decide whether to accept or become a free agent. If Stroman rejects the offer and signs with another club, the Mets will receive draft-pick compensation. Stroman opted out from the season as he neared return from a left calf tear sustained during summer camp.