A few weeks ago, the Yankees were able to avoid arbitration with all of their players, except one. During his first time through, Dellin Betances requested $5 million while the Yankees filed at $3 million. The two sides were unable to come to an agreement. The arbitration hearing was held yesterday, but the results did not come in until this morning. Betances lost his arbitration case and will make $3 million this year.
This is just the third time that the Yankees have had an arbitration hearing over the last 17 years, and they are now three-for-three. The Yankees offered Mariano Rivera $7.25 million for the 2000 season, and he countered with $9.25 million. Rivera was not awarded the $9.25 million that he was seeking. The Yankees also went to arbitration against Chien-Ming Wang back in 2008. Wang requested $4.6 million but was only awarded the $4 million that the Yankees offered.
It is a shame that the Yankees and Betances were unable to meet somewhere in the middle before going to arbitration. Betances has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the past three years. Since 2014, he has racked up 392 strikeouts through 247 innings pitched. Betances has been worth 8.5 fWAR over that period, with a career 2.16 ERA and 14.28 K/9. If you are wondering where Betances’ $5 million value came from, that is the same amount that Aroldis Chapman earned during his first arbitration experience, as Jason has previously discussed.
During the arbitration hearing, the Yankees brought up the fact that Betances allowed 21 baserunners to steal 21 bases against him last season. Joe Girardi has been quick to defend Betances on this issue in the past. He recently said, “It’s important that we all remember that Dellin is a strikeout pitcher...You don’t necessarily want to take away what he does really well and sacrifice that — where it really affects him on the mound to where he’s not the same pitcher.” For his part, Betances has previously acknowledged that he has difficulty throwing to bases other than home plate, and he has been working on it over the offseason.
Although pitchers and catchers reported to spring training earlier in the week, Betances was away with an excused absence. Now that the hearing is over, Betances reported to camp today. Hopefully there won’t be any bad blood between Betances and the team moving forward. That may be difficult to accomplish if Randy Levine keeps saying stuff like this:
Randy Levine blamed Betances' agent for "overreaching" and trying to "change the marketplace" for relief pitchers.Called Betances a "victim"— Erik Boland (@eboland11) February 18, 2017
Randy Levine said that Dellin Betances' $5 million request might as well have been $50 million. "He doesn't have the stats."— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 18, 2017
Do you think Betances should have been awarded the $5 million that he asked for?