Yankees Talk: Dellin Betances On Offseason Transactions

New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

If you figured Dellin Betances would be salty following the Yankees inking Aroldis Chapman to be the team’s closer, you’d be wrong.

The inclusion of Chapman at the back end of the Yankees bullpen may not make the 7-8-9 combination of Tyler Clippard, Betances, and Chapman quite as lethal as last season when Andrew Miller was in tow, but the three-time All-Star, Betances, is still ecstatic about the Yankees’ chances in 2017 — now that his good friend Chappy is back in town.

“Obviously I’ve set up throughout my career, so I’m comfortable doing that,” Betances told the Daily News. “My mentality is, whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I want. I would have been fine closing, but I understand that adding a guy like Chapman makes the team a lot better. I’m good friends with him and we can help each other out.”

Having watched the two men that pitched behind him in ’16 (Chapman and Miller) succeed on baseball’s biggest stage (the World Series), Betances is hungry for his own shot at baseball immortality.

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“I’ve been here three years and we haven’t really done much,” Betances said. “We’ve played good baseball, but I want to win. Seeing those guys in the World Series this year, that’s what I want to do. Whatever it takes to get there, I’ll do the best I can.”

Though Betances is a once upon a time starter turned dominant reliever like Miller, it would be unfair to ask him to do what the Indians did Miller last Postseason. Considering the fact that Betances struggled in the all-important closer role, it’s highly unlikely manager Joe Girardi ever contemplates using the 6’7” flame-thrower in the popular new hybrid long reliever role.

“It’s hard to do that over the course of a season,” Betances said. “What Andrew did was phenomenal. I enjoyed watching it as much as anybody. I got to see him dominate with us for a year-and-a-half — not as many innings as he did in the playoffs, but he dominated the whole time he was here. As far as me doing that, I feel like I’ve been used in that situation before and as long as I feel good, I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

In regards to losing his batterymate Brian McCann in a trade to the Houston Astros, Betances was understandably somber.

“That was tough. Mac is a guy that since I got here in 2014, he’s been my catcher the whole time. I love him as a friend and as a teammate — he’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. He keeps you loose and he’s such a competitor, he helped me become the pitcher I am now.”

On the Yankees replacing one clubhouse leader (McCann) with another (Matt Holliday):

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“He seems like a great dude,” Betances said. “I’ve heard so many good things, how good a leader he is, and I think we need that. We’ve lost so many veteran hitters, so adding a guy of his character helps — and he’s a great hitter.”