Dellin Betances
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Mets sign Dellin Betances to a one-year deal with two player options

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The Mets have done some last minute shopping and got their fans something pretty nice for Christmas: Andy Martino of SNY reports that the Mets have agreed to a deal with free agent reliever Dellin Betances. Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one year deal with two player options.

The Mets’ bullpen was a big problem in 2019, so this is a big move to make it better. At least, that is, if Betances is back up to speed. he made just one appearance for the Yankees this past season due to Achilles and shoulder injures but he posted a 2.22 ERA with 607 strikeouts in 373.1 innings between 2014-2018, making at least 66 appearances in all five of those seasons.

There’s no word yet on the money — and the player options are an interesting twist in this age of mostly team options — but the Mets just got something of an economic windfall via the restructuring of Yoenis Céspedes’ contract.

UPDATE: The deal can max out at $13 million in 2020 if he reaches certain benchmarks. It’s worth $13.5 million guaranteed if Betances exercises the player option for 2021. There is a $1 million player/vesting option for 2022, with a $500,000 buyout, so he could technically max out at $14.5 million, but he’s only taking that $1 million option if his arm has fallen off, one assumes. It’s a safety net for him.

As for this former team: the Yankees have now lost both Didi Gregorius and Betances on what are, basically, one-year deals.

Statements from Betances and the Mets:

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.