After signing outfielder Aaron Hicks to a seven-year, $70 million contract extension on Monday and starter Luis Severino to a four-year $40 million extension earlier this month, Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are now working on a contract extension with reliever Dellin Betances.
Betances, who turns 31 years old next month, is earning $7.25 million this season and can enter free agency heading into the 2020 season. The right-hander and four-time All-Star has been a stalwart in the Yankees’ bullpen since 2014. In that span of time, five seasons, Betances owns a 2.22 ERA with 607 strikeouts and 162 walks across 373 1/3 innings. No reliever has come close to that strikeout total, as Craig Kimbrel sits in second place with 487 strikeouts since the start of the 2014 season. The only qualified relievers with a lower ERA than Betances over the last five years (min. 200 IP) are Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Wade Davis, and Aroldis Chapman.
Relievers, like most other free agents, haven’t fared well in free agency in recent years. No free agent reliever has inked a contract of more than three years and for more than $52 million since before the 2017 season. As a result, Betances may be more motivated to get an extension done rather than test the open market, and the Yankees may be able to keep him at a relatively good price.