Yankees: Predicting which free agents they’ll bring back for the 2020 season

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ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 12: Austin Romine /

RP Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances’ comeback from injury came to a heartbreaking end two weeks ago when he suffered a partially torn Achilles in his first big league appearance of the season. It was a crushing blow to the Yankees but an even bigger one to Dellin who was finally set to become a free agent after the season.

Fortunately, it doesn’t look like he will need surgery which bodes well for him being able to play next season once he’s all healed up. However, he won’t be cashing in this winter and sign a big contract like he was expected to coming into the season which is a shame. If he’d been healthy all season Betances surely would’ve been able to sign for a multi-year deal with a salary close to or above $10M but now he’ll be lucky to get any offers for more than a year or two.

That’s why I think the injury increases the likelihood he’ll be back with the Yankees because his value won’t be as high and he’ll be much more affordable. The Yankee bullpen is still stacked with dominant arms but they’d be happy to make room for Dellin if he’s willing to accept a short term deal for say, one year, with an option for a second. Given his current injury status I think he would take that deal and return to his hometown team and the only franchise he’s ever played for. After team president, Randy Levine basically trashed on Betances during their memorable arbitration case two years ago the Yankees owe it to him after all he’s done for the organization.

Prediction: Betances stays

C Austin Romine

Romine is the best backup catcher in baseball so it will be interesting to see if he signs with a team that will give him a starting job when he becomes a free agent for the first time this offseason. He’s earned that opportunity after backing up Gary Sanchez for the past four years.

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That being said, staying with the Yankees wouldn’t be a bad option either for Romine considering how often Sanchez has been hurt over the past two seasons. Although if it’s about the money he might sign elsewhere because the Yankees probably aren’t going to offer him a two or three-year deal worth around $5M a season just to back up Sanchez.

I’d lean towards Romine leaving the Yankees and Kyle Higashioka taking over as Sanchez’s backup next season. I’m sure Romine loves his job and being a Yankee but this offseason might be the only chance he gets in his career to cash in AND finally become a team’s primary catcher. That opportunity might be too hard to pass up.

Prediction: Romine signs elsewhere