2. Dellin Betances
Once the proud face of a relatively stale Yankees team (except for him), Dellin Betances has unfortunately ridden the Reliever Roller Coaster downward since the end of 2019.
Now, his best hope is for a minor-league deal, which should come at very little cost to the Bombers.
An All-Star from 2014-2017, which is almost unheard of for a non-closer reliever, Betances performed well in 2018, too, before falling victim to shoulder injury issues that kept him off the mound for nearly all of ’19, an otherwise extremely exciting time to be a Yankee.
Tragedy befell him at the end of the campaign, too, when he made a triumphant comeback to the rubber in Toronto, primed to join the playoff chase alongside an also-recovered Luis Severino … only to tear his Achilles doing his patented “hop-step” celebration after ending the inning with a K. Truly, injury and insult met that day and had a productive four-hour chat. It does not get more brutal, and it also ended his Yankees career on the sourest note possible.
Betances bounced to the Mets that offseason and has experienced nothing but misery ever since. He’s appeared in just 16 games across those two years, 15 of which came in an empty-stands season that still feels like a fever dream. Betances lost complete control in 2020 after missing the rhythms of the game for a full calendar year, walking 12 and striking out 11 in 11.2 innings. That, of course, doesn’t bode well either for what his return to form might look like in 2022 after missing the vast majority of last season.
We have very little belief left that Betances will ever be an ace-like wipeout weapon again, but an incentive-laden, minor-league contract could give the Yankees some feel-good depth, and won’t block the development of any of their more important assets.