The Yankees have yet to agree to terms with right-handed reliever Dellin Betances, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The two are reportedly $2 million apart from agreeing on a sum; Betances filed for $5 million, while the Yankees offered $3 million.
Despite some late-season bumps in the road, Betances finished 2016 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.78 FIP through 73 innings, leading all major-league relievers in strikeouts (126) for the third consecutive season. This is the first year in which the 28-year-old has been eligible for arbitration after earning a league-minimum salary last season.
According to the reported totals from MLB Trade Rumors, approximately 36 major leaguers have yet to reconcile salary figures for 2017. Of the seven Yankees who are arbitration-eligible this year, Betances is the only player who has not settled with the club. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement in the next few weeks, an arbitration hearing will take place in February, though MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that the Yankees have not gone through proceedings with a player since 2008.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.