Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Mets fans, looks like you got your first present a day early!
As SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier Tuesday afternoon, the New York Mets have signed veteran reliever Dellin Betances to a one-year deal.
Just hours before Christmas Eve, WFAN's John Jastremski opened his show with his reaction to the Mets' Betances signing.
"There are two ways to look at this big deal. From the Mets perspective: much needed. What was the achilles heel of the 2019 New York Mets? Inability to hold a lead. Bullpen not being deep enough. You now get a guy when he's right is one of the premiere relievers in all of baseball. His stuff is electric. He's proven he can do it. He hasn't proven that he can be a closer. That element will be interesting. How will Carlos Beltran, his buddy from their time with the Yankees, going to handle him?"
The Mets have been busy this offseaosn even before today, signing pitchers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha to one-year contracts.
"Anytime you get a reliever in New York, putting on that Yankee or Met uniform, how are they going to handle that stage? Doesn't matter if its February or August, you're under that pressure cooker... some guys are not cut out to handle New York City. They're just not. The media, the scrutiny, the fans, the blown save: you're gonna hear it. Some can handle it, others cannot. You won't have one question with Betances like you did with Edwin Diaz, is he too soft to handle New York City? Betances has been there and done it. Performaed at the highest of levels in New York."
In 2019, the Mets had the sixth-worst ERA among major league clubs (4.95). Closer Edwin Diaz tallied 26 saves in his first season in New York but blew seven tries, tied for third most in the National League.
"Question is the injuries. The achilles tear, arm injuries that cost him a good portion of the 2019 season. This is the sort of reliever you should bring in. You should be swinging for the fences. Why am I playing it safe? You gave him a one-year contract with an option for the seocnd year. You gave Familia a 3-year deal. First year, he was a total nightmare."
"Baseball releivers, at the top of their craft, over last five or six years, Betances is right there. Now you add him to Lugo, who you believe in. With Edwin Diaz, the jury is still out. Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman, this Mets bullpen looks a lot better with Betances being there. This is a no brainer. You bring him in late in games, you expect him to do the job. He won't be phased by the game, by the moment."
In eight seasons in the Bronx with the Yankees, Betances was brilliant, posting a 2.36 earned run average with 621 strikeouts in 381 2/3 innings pitched.
"Other team was the Philadelphia Phillies. We know how good their offseason has been. For Mets fans, it's sad that Zack Wheeler is done in Philly.. it's good day if you're a New York Mets fan. Exactly the type of present you're hoping to open on Christmas under tree. Top flight, elite-level reliever much needed."
Yankees made ace pitcher Gerrit Cole their main priority, signing him to a record-breaking 9-year, $324 million contract.
"From the Yankee angle, I'm very perplexed. I know they went all in on Gerrit Cole, applaud them on that, they got the missing ingredient to their team. I figured they'd look to lengthen their bullpen that much more. They have Chapman and Britton. Yanks are counting on that two of these three are going to be very effective: Ottavino, Kahnle, and Chad Green."
Click on the audio player above to listen to John Jastremski's full reaction to the Mets' signing of Dellin Betances.