Mets place Betances on injured list, add Hildenberger to ‘pen

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Mets reliever Dellin Betances was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a right shoulder impingement.

The team announced the move a little less than 90 minutes before the first pitch of its home opener against Miami. New York selected right-hander Trevor Hildenberger to the major league roster and added him to a bullpen that struggled during the first three games of the season in Philadelphia.

The 30-year-old Hildenberger pitched for Minnesota from 2017-19, going 9-11 with a 5.35 ERA in 132 relief outings, but hasn’t appeared in the majors since.

The oft-injured Betances made his season debut Wednesday in an 8-2 loss to the Phillies. The 6-foot-8, 265-pound right-hander gave up one run with a walk and a strikeout in one inning of work. He did not allow a hit, but threw only nine of 21 pitches for strikes.

A four-time All-Star with the crosstown Yankees, the 33-year-old Betances has been a big disappointment since signing with the Mets as a free agent in December 2019. He struggled with his control during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in 15 appearances. He walked 12 and struck out 11 in 11 2/3 innings.

After the season, Betances exercised his $6 million player option for this year, deciding against taking a $3 million buyout and becoming a free agent again. That made his deal with the Mets worth $13.5 million over two years.

Betances, who grew up in New York City and went to high school in Brooklyn, struck out 115 over 66 2/3 innings and had a 2.70 ERA with the Yankees in 2018, then missed nearly all of 2019 due to a bone spur behind his right shoulder. He returned Sept. 15 at Toronto, but his season ended after two batters and eight pitches when he partially tore the Achilles tendon in his left foot while striking out Brandon Drury.

Betances was the first reliever in baseball history to have 100 or more strikeouts in five consecutive seasons (2014-18). He led major league relievers in strikeouts each year from 2014-16.

Report: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach 9-year, $360M deal


SAN DIEGO — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.