Despite the fact that Dellin Betances is set to miss nearly all of spring training with the Yankees because of his participation in the World Baseball Classic, the reliever won’t be reporting to camp until after his arbitration case is settled.
Sweeny Murti of WFAN says that Betances will continue working out privately until at least Saturday, which is the day after he and the team will have their respective sides heard on the subject of Betances’ 2017 salary in St. Petersburg. A three-person panel will decide whether Betances should be awarded the $5 million he requested, or if the Yankees’ $3 million figure is more reasonable. They can also decide something in between.
Betances will have about two weeks in spring training in Tampa before leaving for the WBC. As the Dominican Republic team is stacked with talent and a favorite to win it all, he could be away until the tournament’s conclusion on March 22nd.
In other news out of camp, Hal Steinbrenner sees a potential expanded role for Alex Rodriguez within the organization. Rodriguez, who is being paid $21 million by the team, is currently a special advisor to the owner. He is expected to show up to spring training for one or two stints, according to ESPN.
Citing Rodriguez’s ability to help younger players, Steinbrenner said that the two sides would continue to discuss ways for the former third baseman to be involved with the Yankees. The relationship between A-Rod and Yankees’ ownership has not always been a smooth one, so hopefully things can stay on good terms now that Rodriguez is taking on the mentor role exclusively.
Steinbrenner was non-committal on Joe Girardi’s future beyond 2017 when his contract expires. Hal gave a familiar answer about not dealing with contracts until they are up, Girardi’s included. While not saying anything definite, he did express that they all love Girardi and think he has done a good job with the caveat of having to see how the season goes.
If the Yankees miss the playoffs again, Girardi might be a convenient scapegoat for the team. Many people incorrectly believe Girardi to be a bad manager, even though he isn’t without his flaws. However, the Yankees would have a hard time finding much better to replace him.