New York Mets – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-25T20:59:40Z WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Steve Cohen, Mets]]> 2020-10-20T20:15:27Z 2020-10-20T20:15:27Z Prospective owner Steve Cohen is getting closer to taking over the Mets from the beleaguered Fred Wilpon-Jeff Wilpon tandem. Major League Baseball’s eight-person Ownership Committee recently voted in favor of Cohen, 7-1, Scott Soshnick and Barry M. Bloom of Sportico report. Cohen still has to receive approval from 23 of the league’s 30 owners in order to assume the Mets’ reins, but Soshnick and Bloom suggest that’s a formality.

As someone who currently owns 8 percent of the Mets, Cohen’s already known around the league. He agreed in mid-September to purchase 95 percent of the club for around $2.475 billion, which came after a potential agreement between Cohen and the Wilpons fell through last winter. Since then, though, the Wilpons have endured substantial losses as a result of the coronavirus-shortened season with no fans in attendance, so they became more eager to part with the franchise.

Considering his net worth comes in north of $14 billion, Mets fans are understandably excited to see Cohen on the verge of leading the organization. And if Cohen does receive the necessary approval to succeed the Wilpons in the coming weeks, it won’t be a surprise to see the team make some splashy moves in the offseason after missing the playoffs for the fourth year in a row in 2020. Any of the game’s best pending free agents (Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto and DJ LeMahieu, to name a few) could conceivably wind up on the Cohen-led Mets’ radar over the winter.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Scouting Dominican Prospect Jarlin Susana]]> 2020-10-17T19:12:33Z 2020-10-17T19:07:57Z
  • Speaking of international talent, Dominican right-hander Jarlin Susana is an intriguing (and unattached) prospect heading into the January 15 international signing period.  Baseball America’s Ben Badler has more on the 16-year-old Susana, who is 6’5″, 195 pounds, and hit 96mph during a showcase for scouts earlier this week.  Susana also has “a sharp breaking ball” along with that fastball, which usually clocks in the “the low-to-mid 90s.”  Many of the top prospects in the 2020-21 international class have already unofficially agreed to deals with teams, though Susana isn’t yet linked to anyone, making him an interesting option for clubs with available bonus pool space.  The Mets and Dodgers were among the teams who had evaluators in attendance at Susana’s showcase.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Mets Hoping To Bolster Analytics Infrastructure]]> 2020-10-14T00:30:54Z 2020-10-14T00:30:54Z
  • Mets’ fans are hoping likely incoming owner Steve Cohen will green-light a higher payroll than has become customary under the Wilpon family. Precisely where spending on the roster will land remains to be seen, but Cohen is already taking steps to improve the franchise behind the scenes. He’s expected to invest heavily in building the organization’s analytics infrastructure, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post. The Mets’ existing analytics and player development systems are “archaic,” hears Puma, who adds that the Wilpons never provided former (and probably future) baseball operations leader Sandy Alderson with the kinds of resources he desired to keep up with rival data-driven front offices around the league.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Mets' Front Office Plans]]> 2020-10-04T00:48:53Z 2020-10-04T00:48:53Z
  • Like most teams, the Mets imposed pay cuts for many employees this summer in response to pandemic-driven revenue losses. However, Mets employees will receive their full salaries from November 1 onward, per Tim Healey of Newsday. Likely incoming owner Steve Cohen drove that decision. Cohen’s still awaiting formal approval from 23 of the league’s 30 owners (which he’s expected to get) before his reported $2.475 billion purchase of 95% of the franchise becomes official. He’s permitted to consult on organizational decision-making in the interim, Healey notes.
  • The Mets’ forthcoming sale also figures to bring substantial changes in personnel. Cohen has already confirmed plans to hire Sandy Alderson as team president if and when he formally takes the reins. A few potential staffers Cohen and Alderson could pursue for various roles this offseason (via Andy Martino of SNY): Nationals assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler, Athletics assistant general manager Billy Owens, and Rays special assistant Bobby Heck. Roessler was on the Mets’ coaching staff from 2015-18, overlapping with Alderson’s time as the franchise’s general manager. Owens, meanwhile, has been in the Oakland front office for nearly two decades and reportedly drew some consideration last offseason for the Giants’ GM job, which eventually went to Scott Harris.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Tomas Nido Confirms COVID-19 As Reason For Time On Injured List]]> 2020-09-28T01:51:22Z 2020-09-28T01:51:22Z
  • Tomas Nido confirmed that complications from COVID-19 ended his season, tweets Newsday’s Tim Healey. Said Nido via instagram: “Unfortunately, my season was cut short after getting Covid and other related complications while trying to come back. Time to turn the page and prepare for a strong 2021.” Nido appeared in just 7 games for the Mets this season, his fourth straight of seeing time in the bigs. For his career, the 26-year-old backstop holds a .197/.234/.319 triple slash across 270 plate appearances. Veterans Wilson Ramos and Robinson Chirinos handled most of the catching responsibilities for the Mets this season, but both could be free agents. The Mets hold $10MM team option for the 33-year-old Ramos and $6.25MM team option for the 36-year-old Chirinos. Ramos has a $1.25M buyout, while Chirinos’ buyout is for $1MM. Nido remains under team control – and he’s out of options – so he’ll either need to be a part of the catching picture for the Mets in 2021 or risk exposure to waivers.
  • Dellin Betances holds a $6MM player option for 2021 to remain with the Mets, and it’s unclear what direction he’s leaning as of now, per Anthony DiComo of (via Twitter). As DiComo notes, the option comes with a $3MM buyout, so Betances’ decision really comes down to a $3MM question. Even after a season in which he made just 14 appearances for a 5.56 ERA/4.34 FIP across 11 1/3 innings with 7.9 K/9 to 7.1 BB/9, it’s reasonable to expect someone to bid that much for a reliever with high-end upside like Betances. Still, it’s now been two seasons since Betances was a dominant arm out of the pen, and as a New York native who’s spent his entire major-league career in New York, he may look for a way to remain with the Mets. Betances averaged 93.4 mph on his four-seamer this season, a far cry from his days as a 96-97 mph high-leverage arm with the Yankees.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Place Andres Gimenez On 10-Day IL, Select Ryan Cordell]]> 2020-09-26T22:30:56Z 2020-09-26T22:15:01Z Andres Gimenez’s 2020 season is over, as the Mets placed the shortstop on the 10-day injured list due to right oblique tightness.  Outfielder Ryan Cordell’s contract has been selected and he will take Gimenez’s spot on the active roster, with right-hander Robert Gsellman being moved to the 60-day IL to free up a 40-man roster spot for Cordell.

    The Mets raised some eyebrows by adding Gimenez to their Opening Day roster, as the top prospect had hit only .257/.317/.380 over 632 plate appearances at the Double-A level and has never appeared in Triple-A, let alone the majors.  That said, Gimenez made a solid accounting for himself in his first big league season, batting .265/.336/.402 (104 OPS+, 106 wRC+) over 131 PA for New York with three home runs.  Gimenez also displayed some skill on the basepaths in going 8-for-9 on stolen base attempts, and wielded a steady glove at shortstop while also getting some action in at second and third base.

    The left-handed hitting Gimenez ended up more or less platooning with the right-handed hitting Amed Rosario at shortstop, though in the wake of a tough season for Rosario, it’s possible Gimenez may have the inside track to a regular starting job in 2021.  This isn’t to say that the Mets would move on from Rosario, who is still only 24 years old and was an even higher-touted prospect than Gimenez, plus Rosario himself posted solid numbers over the full 2019 season.  Gimenez’s earlier-than-expected emergence gives (likely) incoming Mets front office boss Sandy Alderson some quality depth to work with as he figures out the team’s infield plans for next season.

    Cordell signed a minor league deal with the Mets in June and was previously selected to the roster early in the season, though was designated for assignment and then outrighted after four games.  Cordell’s 2020 resume consists of just four plate appearances, this coming after a 2019 season with the White Sox that saw the outfielder hit .221/.290/.355 over 247 PA.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Michael Conforto Done For Season]]> 2020-09-24T19:35:44Z 2020-09-24T19:27:46Z The Mets have placed outfielder Michael Conforto on the injured list with hamstring tightness and recalled infielder Luis Guillorme, Anthony DiComo of was among those to report. This will end Conforto’s season.

    Plenty has gone wrong this year for the Mets, who entered the campaign with playoff aspirations but have since stumbled to a 25-31 record. But the Mets do boast one of the majors’ best offenses, ranking second in the league in wRC+ and 11th in runs, and Conforto’s a key reason for the success they’ve had at the plate. The 27-year-old was a quality hitter for the Mets from 2015-19, but he found another gear this season with a line of .322/.412/.515 (157 wRC+) and nine home runs across 233 plate appearances.

    Conforto earned a prorated $9.7MM this season, and going forward, he has one more year of arbitration eligibility left. The Mets and soon-to-be team president Sandy Alderson will have to decide in the offseason whether to extend Conforto, who’s open to the possibility, trade him or let him play out his final year of team control.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Steve Cohen Plans To Name Sandy Alderson Mets President]]> 2020-09-24T13:28:23Z 2020-09-24T12:51:01Z Earlier this week it was reported that Steve Cohen would likely bring former GM Sandy Alderson back to the Mets if approved by 23 of the league’s owners. At the time an advisory role was suggested, but MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Cohen will instead name Alderson the team president, placing him in charge of both business and baseball operations (Twitter link). Cohen has confirmed the report, issuing a statement to several reporters (link via Joel Sherman of the New York Post).

    If I am fortunate enough to be approved by Major League Baseball as the next owner of this iconic franchise, Sandy Alderson will become president of the New York Mets and will oversee all Mets baseball and business operations. Sandy is an accomplished and respected baseball executive who shares my philosophy of building an organization and a team the right way. I am excited to have Sandy in a key leadership role with the Mets if my purchase of the team is approved. Lets’ Go Mets!

    The 72-year-old Alderson was the Mets’ general manager from 2010-18 before stepping away following a cancer recurrence that pulled him away for health reasons. There’d already been speculation about his job security leading up to that point, however, and Alderson himself acknowledged upon departing that he wasn’t sure his return as GM would even be merited based on the team’s recent results. The Mets eventually went outside the box to hire high-profile CAA agent Brodie Van Wagenen to head up baseball operations, and Alderson took a role as a senior advisor with the Athletics in January 2019.

    Today’s announcement would represent a major front office shakeup and quite possibly result in the departure of Van Wagenen. Cohen’s statement doesn’t mention Van Wagenen, and while it’s possible that he could hold onto his GM post but still report to Alderson, that type of transition would be awkward, to say the least. SNY’s Andy Martino pointed out earlier this week that Alderson and Van Wagenen do have a positive relationship from the latter’s days as an agent with CAA and that Van Wagenen made sure to thank Alderson for all the work he did prior to stepping down.

    Elsewhere throughout the league, prior situations of a president being installed above a sitting GM have resulted in the prior GM opting to depart. That was the case when Mark Shapiro was named Blue Jays president while Alex Anthopoulos was GM, and Ben Cherington stepped down in Boston after the Red Sox named Dave Dombrowski president. Adding to the awkwardness in this instance would be the fact that the incoming team president would be the man that Van Wagenen effectively replaced.

    Beyond the front office dynamic, both Sherman and Martino observe that hitching his ownership candidacy to Alderson could help Cohen to ensure approval from the league’s other owners. Alderson is as respected an executive as there is throughout the industry, whereas Cohen comes to the MLB ownership table with a history of insider trading penalties and gender discrimination lawsuits at his hedge funds. Any peers who have trepidation about Cohen’s still-pending ownership approval could see those concerns eased to an extent knowing that Alderson will play a prominent role in the organization.

    The widespread expectation is that payroll will increase substantially under Cohen. That would make for some layered intrigue in the offseason. Not only are teams throughout the league expected to scale back their spending on free agents given the sweeping revenue losses that have hit the sport during the Covid-19 pandemic, but Alderson has never exactly been at the head of a baseball ops department that allows him to spend in the top tier of teams throughout the league. His days as GM in Oakland were obviously dictated by spending limitations, and even the outgoing Wilpon ownership group in New York never spent to levels commensurate with their market size.

    Specifics of the arrangement are still yet to fully unfold. Just as it’s possible that Alderson could retain Van Wagenen in his current role — or a different post within the organization — it’s also possible that he could hire a younger general manager to work underneath him and carry significant sway in baseball operations. What the return of Alderson would mean for the field staff, including rookie skipper Luis Rojas, is also unclear at this point. And, of course, Cohen has yet to be formally approved by the league’s other owners. It’s expected that he will indeed garner the requisite votes, but until that vote is held late nothing can be considered final. The exact timing of a vote remains murky, but it’s expected to occur by early November.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Michael Conforto Remains Open To Extension Talks]]> 2020-09-24T01:43:50Z 2020-09-24T01:43:50Z There are quite a lot of moving parts in Queens, but that hasn’t shaken the dedication of outfielder Michael Conforto. As’s Anthony DiComo reports, Conforto remains interested in exploring a long-term contract to stay in New York.

    Conforto acknowledged the obvious: the upcoming ownership transition has left him pondering “what kind of things are going to change and what this team’s going to look like when we come back.” But he says he’s going to stay focused on the present until the season concludes.

    When it comes to his contractual future, Conforto made clear he’s excited to continue playing for the Mets. “I love it here,” he said. “This is everything I know.”

    That’s not to say that a new deal is assured. For one thing, not much groundwork has been laid. Outside of “a really, really brief and preliminary chat this spring,” says Conforto, the sides haven’t talked extension.

    At this point, the Mets will need to come with a big offer to lock in Conforto for the foreseeable future. The 27-year-old is headed for one more trip through the arbitration process this fall. He’s sure to command a big raise on his present $8MM salary. Through 229 plate appearances, Conforto carries a monster .328/.419/.525 batting line.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Steve Cohen Could Bring Sandy Alderson Back To Mets]]> 2020-09-22T15:49:10Z 2020-09-21T17:58:20Z Twenty-three votes from MLB owners are all that stand between billionaire Steve Cohen and a 95 percent stake in the Mets franchise. So long as he’s approved by the league’s other owners, he’ll step in and assume control of the club from the Wilpon family for a reported sale price of $2.475 billion. But while the Wilpons may be on their way out the door, another familiar name could return to the fold. SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Cohen is likely to bring former GM Sandy Alderson back to the organization — though not as general manager. Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that Cohen is mulling an advisory position for the 72-year-old Alderson.

    Alderson was the Mets’ general manager from 2010-18 and only stepped away from the position when a cancer recurrence prompted him to take a medical leave in July 2018. Alderson would not return to the role, candidly acknowledging even while stepping away that, on the merits, I’m not sure coming back is warranted.” The Mets went through an exhaustive search and ultimately went way outside the box when they hired high-profile agent Brodie Van Wagenen, who represented Jacob deGrom (among other Mets players), as their new GM. Months later, Alderson was hired by the Athletics as a senior advisor. Alderson was Oakland’s general manager from 1983-97.

    Sherman adds that Cohen could make a push to bring former vice president of player development Paul DePodesta back to the organization. DePodesta departed in 2016, two years before Alderson, when he made the bold move to jump not only to another club but to another sport entirely. He’s spent the past four years serving as the chief strategy officer for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. As with Alderson, a potential role for DePodesta is unclear, but Cohen is plenty familiar with both veteran executives, having long served as a minority stakeholder.

    Questions abound with any ownership change, and that is particularly true in this instance. Beyond the potential returns of some high-profile names, the most immediate question is: what would this mean for Van Wagenen? He was hired due in part to a strong existing relationship with Fred Wilpon, and it’s common for new owners to install their own appointees in the baseball operations department. The Mets, meanwhile, missed the postseason in Van Wagenen’s first year on the job and are all but certain to miss in 2020 as well.

    Van Wagenen can’t be saddled with the blame for Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery or Marcus Stroman’s decision to opt out of the season. He can, however, be held accountable for the regrettable trade that sent Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to the Mariners in exchange for Edwin Diaz and half of Robinson Cano’s remaining contract. The Jed Lowrie signing has been a circus. Wilson Ramos and Jeurys Familia haven’t been as impactful as hoped.

    As with virtually any GM, there are highlights, too. The Kelenic/Cano/Diaz swap often overshadows the team’s trade for J.D. Davis, but Davis was acquired for a relative pittance and has emerged as a quality bat. DeGrom would be in position to make far more than $130MM in free agency this winter had the two sides not worked out an extension during Van Wagenen’s first spring on the job. We don’t know the exact financial limitations placed on Van Wagenen & Co., but we know that despite playing in New York, the Wilpons have spent more like the Cardinals than the Yankees or Dodgers.

    Van Wagenen is under control for another two years beyond the current season, but there’s no guarantee he’d get the opportunity to see that play out under Cohen. The fate of manager Luis Rojas is similarly uncertain. It’s tough to evaluate Rojas based on this of all seasons — particularly when he spent much of the offseason expecting to open the year as the quality control coach under manager-that-never-was Carlos Beltran. As with Van Wagenen, there are low points and high points in Rojas’ brief time on the job, and it’s possible that Cohen would prefer more input on who is running the day-to-day in the clubhouse.

    Sherman raises the possibility of former MLB agent Arn Tellem, now the vice chairman of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, also having a role with the Mets, but Martino tweets such a move is unlikely. If nothing else, the fact that it’s been considered or speculated upon only further underscores the organizational turnover that’s likely to come to the Mets in the event that Cohen is approved by his potential ownership peers.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Release Yefry Ramirez, Trade Stephen Villines To Rangers]]> 2020-09-20T17:08:36Z 2020-09-20T16:49:17Z The Mets announced a pair of transactions, including the news that right-hander Yefry Ramirez has been released.  New York also completed the August 5 trade with the Rangers that brought Ariel Jurado to Citi Field, as right-hander Steve Villines was sent to Texas as the player to be named later.

    Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Mets over the offseason and was part of the team’s 60-man player pool, though he never received a call-up from the alternate training site.  The 26-year-old righty has a 6.32 ERA, 1.71 K/BB rate, and 8.9 K/9 over 89 2/3 career innings in the big leagues, all with Orioles and Pirates from 2018-19.  Originally an international signing for the Diamondbacks in 2011, the 26-year-old Ramirez has posted some solid numbers over 605 minor league innings (3.57 ERA, 2.96 K/BB, 9.1 K/9), starting 103 of his 137 games.

    Villines was a 10th-round pick for the Mets in the 2017 draft, and has worked exclusively as a reliever over 155 career innings in New York’s farm system.  He wasn’t a top-30 prospect for the Mets nor a member of their 60-man player pool, though the 25-year-old’s unconventional sidearm-esque delivery has some outstanding minor league numbers — a 2.67 ERA, 5.31 K/BB rate, and an 11.1 K/9 over 155 innings.  That dominance didn’t translate to 16 Triple-A innings last season, as Villines posted a 6.75 ERA over that admittedly small sample size.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Orioles Acquire Victor Gonzalez From Mets, Release Chandler Shepherd]]> 2020-09-20T15:40:43Z 2020-09-20T15:23:26Z The Orioles have acquired infield prospect Victor Gonzalez from the Mets as the player to be named later in the August trade that sent Miguel Castro to New York.  The 17-year-old Gonzalez has been added to Baltimore’s 60-man player pool, while right-hander Chandler Shepherd was released to make room.

    Gonzalez, hailing from the Dominican Republic, signed for a $250K bonus as a member of the Mets’ 2019-20 international signing class.  With the 2020 minor league season canceled, Gonzalez has yet to officially begin his pro career, and he wasn’t part of the group working out at the Mets’ alternate training site.  Baseball America’s Ben Badler described Gonzalez as having “a good chance to stay at shortstop” since he has “a quick first step, covers ground well and has a strong arm for the position.”

    Shepherd joined the Orioles on a waiver claim in May 2019 and made his MLB debut last season, posting a 6.63 ERA over 19 innings for the O’s.  The righty was outrighted off the 40-man roster after the season but remained in the organization, and was briefly called up to the Orioles’ roster this season but didn’t appear in a game before being designated for assignment in August.

    Originally a 13th-round pick for the Red Sox in the 2014 draft, Shepherd has a 4.17 ERA, 3.44 K/BB rate, and 8.6 K/9 over 455 2/3 career minor league innings in the Boston and Baltimore organizations.  Somewhat unusually, he began his pro career as a reliever before becoming mostly a full-time starter prior to the 2018 season.  (Three of Shepherd’s five Major League games were starts.)

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jed Lowrie Won’t Play This Season]]> 2020-09-17T20:31:53Z 2020-09-17T20:31:53Z The 2020 campaign will go in the books as a lost season for Mets infielder Jed Lowrie, who won’t play this year on account of left knee problems, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.

    The Lowrie signing surely counts as one of the worst in team history for the Mets, who inked the ex-Athletics standout to a two-year, $20MM contract before last season. The switch-hitting Lowrie was coming off two healthy and productive seasons in Oakland at the time, but his knee troubles have since limited him to nine games and eight plate appearances – all of which came in 2019.

    Soon to turn 37 years old, Lowrie has undergone platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections in his knee of late, per Healey. It’s unclear whether Lowrie will play again, then. However, if he does try for another deal, it’s quite likely to be of the minor league variety.

    The Mets, for their part, haven’t necessarily needed Lowrie over the past couple years, during which they’ve had a crowded infield. Lowrie’s primarily a second and third baseman, but the Mets have Robinson Cano, J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil around to handle those spots. Those players are all slated to remain with the team in 2021.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jacob deGrom Leaves Start Early]]> 2020-09-17T15:53:42Z 2020-09-17T00:06:33Z 7:46pm: deGrom is dealing with a right hamstring spasm, the team announced.

    7:06pm: Mets ace Jacob deGrom left his start against the Phillies on Wednesday after two innings, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer was among those to report. The reason for deGrom’s exit isn’t yet known, but he met with trainers after his final inning. The Mets then replaced deGrom with right-hander Michael Wacha.

    DeGrom departed his outing after yielding three earned runs, making it his worst start of 2020. The back-to-back NL Cy Young winner entered Wednesday in strong contention for the award again with a 1.67 ERA/1.96 FIP and 13.17 K/9 against 2.17 BB/9 over 54 innings. Prior to Wednesday, deGrom hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his starts this season.

    There would be no replacing deGrom for the Mets if he has to miss time, but the fact that they went into Wednesday at 21-27 makes it unlikely they’ll earn a playoff trip, anyway. With that in mind, the bigger question may be how a deGrom injury would impact the NL Cy Young race, where Yu Darvish and Trevor Bauer are also among those competing for the honors.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Dellin Betances]]> 2020-09-16T20:56:25Z 2020-09-16T20:56:25Z The Mets have been without reliever Dellin Betances since he went on the injured list Aug. 30 with right lat tightness, and it doesn’t appear a return is imminent. Manager Luis Rojas said Wednesday that Betances’ “timeline is uncertain,” Tim Britton of The Athletic relays.

    With little time left in the regular season and the 21-27 Mets looking unlikely to make the playoffs, it’s possible Betances has thrown his last pitch of 2020. Either way, this will go down as the second straight injury-shortened year for Betances, a former Yankee who missed almost all of 2019 with shoulder and Achilles problems. The four-time All-Star then signed for a guaranteed $10.5MM with the Mets last winter, but thanks largely to a couple of rough outings, Betances hasn’t put up his usual numbers.

    Before going on the IL, the 32-year-old Betances pitched to a 6.10 ERA/4.27 FIP with by far a career-worst 6.97 (he owns a lifetime 14.44 K/9) and 6.1 BB/9 in 10 1/3 innings. Along the way, Betances averaged 93.3 mph on his fastball – well below his personal mean of 97.2.

    The deal Betances inked with the Mets includes options for 2021 and ’22. For next season, he’ll be able to return to the club on a $6MM player option. Considering how this year has gone for him, it seems unlikely Betances will reject that sum in favor of a $3MM buyout.