Yankees: Dellin Betances intends to make Randy Levine eat crow

Mar 26, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

With closer Aroldis Chapman set to miss at least the next four weeks, Dellin Betances will get another crack at proving Yankees president Randy Levine wrong.

By now everyone is well aware of the contentious relationship that has formed between Dellin Betances and Randy Levine, after Levine publically ripped Betances and his agent, Jim Murray, when they asked the Yankees for “closer-type” money, prior to the arbitration process this past February.

Though Betances’ camp ended up losing the $5 million hearing — instead, walking away with a cool $3 million payday for the 2017 season, Levine decided he still needed to set the record straight, that nobody puts baby in a corner.

"“Dellin has been great, but he doesn’t have the statistics in the ninth inning or the saves. He just doesn’t have it. At the end of the day, it was obvious that he was not getting $5 million unless it was a fluke.”"

After years of Levine spouting off total nonsense, you’d think that the organization would have put a permanent muzzle on him — but no. All he did was potentially make Betances’ next two years of arbitration eligibility that much more difficult (should the Yankees be unable to secure a long-term deal).

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I get that Betances wasn’t very effective down the stretch in 2016 (0-2 in seven innings, with a 12.86 ERA and 12-to-8 K/BB ratio, but did Levine really feel that antagonizing Betances was the best course of action — especially after the team already won in the eyes of the arbitrator?


With Betances set to take over the closer duties until Chapman returns sometime in mid-June, the 29-year-old three-time All-Star told NJ Advance Media that he has nothing to worry about.

"“I’ve been pitching three years already,” Betances said. “I don’t think I have to prove anything. I’ve just got to do my job… For me, I’ve just got to do my job. I can’t try to show anybody anything. That would just put extra pressure on myself. I’ve just got to go out there and do my job and make pitches, and everything will take care of itself."

Whether you believe Betances or not is an entirely different story. The one thing we know is that the Yankees will need him to pitch like he did when Chapman was first traded last July (1-0 in 15.2 innings, with a 0.57 ERA, 9 saves and a 25-to-5 K/BB ratio).

In 12 innings this season, Betances is 3-1 with a 0.75 ERA and 22 Ks.

Per the New York Daily News, manager Joe Girardi speculated:

"“I think Dellin is probably welcoming the challenge.”"

Should Betances keep up his current pace, and he and the Yankees are once again forced to the arbitration table this offseason, he could get a lot closer to that $5 million mark. Although, who knows, maybe Betances will want more — which will certainly send Levine off the deep end.

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There’s no denying what Levine said was ill-conceived and unprofessional, but Betances’ people should have been a bit more realistic in their demands. Regardless, here’s hoping Betances pitches lights out ball and makes Levine eat his words. Then we can all be happy.