Dellin Betances has a fourth option and can be sent to the minors in 2014

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Dellin Betances was moved to the bullpen in 2013 after seasons of struggling to find his way in the rotation at the Triple-A level. The Yankees obviously felt like Betances' best shot at sticking with the team long-term came from a move to the bullpen to try and minimize his struggles. The team was running out of options on Betances and was in danger of losing him if he wasn't able to stick on the major league roster.

Brian Cashman announced today, much to the surprise of most, that Betances has a fourth option and can be sent to the minors for one more season. This fourth option stems from a rare rule that allows a player that has five or fewer professional seasons who has already used up three options to have one additional option year.

This means that Betances doesn't necessarily have to stick with the Yankees out of spring training this year, which is very different from want was believed before today's revelation. The Yankees can send him back to Triple-A to continue to work in relief, or even possibly give his chances at the rotation one more go. Considering how well he did in relief with the RailRiders last season, it seems pretty ridiculous to try and move him back to the rotation. Relievers are less valuable than starters, but a strong reliever is much more valuable than a starting pitcher who walks the park and has little idea where the ball is headed.

If Betances is not in the bullpen as the long reliever to start the 2014 season, the job could fall to Adam Warren for a second season. Warren could also make some noise in the battle for the fifth starter position with David Phelps, Michael Pineda, and Vidal Nuno. Those who miss out on the rotation spot will likely be split between heading back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and working out of the big league bullpen.

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