The New York Mets signed former New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. Hopefully, the addition doesn’t turn out the way it did for Pedro Feliciano when he left the Mets for the Yankees.
The exclusive club of players who have suited up for the New York Mets and New York Yankees is quite extensive. The newest member of this group is Dellin Betances, the longtime Yankees reliever who will suit up for the Mets in 2020.
For years, Betances has been one of the best relievers in the game. He has never known another big league team aside from the Yankees. In 2020, he’ll finally get a taste when he switches boroughs.
After the 2010 campaign, the Mets were on the opposite side of a switch like this. After parts of eight seasons with the Amazins, Pedro Feliciano left for free agency and signed a two-year deal with the Yankees.
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Unfortunately for the team in The Bronx, Feliciano never played a game for them. He experienced soreness in the regular season and would spend the next two years either on the sidelines or rehabbing.
Betances does come to the Mets with some of these same concerns. He pitched in only one inning last year for the Yankees. Discomfort in his shoulder landed him on the IL list early but an Achilles injury knocked him out for the rest of the season in his one appearance.
Unless you followed the Mets closely when Feliciano was around, you may not have realized how valuable he was. From 2008-2010, he led the National League in games pitched. He did so with some fantastic numbers, too.
Betances and Feliciano are nothing alike in skillset. Feliciano was a left-handed specialist available nearly every day throughout his time in Queens. During Betances’ time with the Yankees, he was more of a multi-inning option throwing from the right side.
Betances’ best years also outduel the prime of Feliciano’s career. Nevertheless, I cannot help but think of how these two high-leverage relievers blend together.
The Mets are at an advantage, though. Even if Betances is coming to Queens with an injury that may still require some rehab, there’s no reason to believe he won’t heal up fully. Advances in medicine work to their advantage. What’s more, Betances joins them younger and fresher than Feliciano was when he signed with the Yankees before 2011.
In retrospect, there’s little doubt Feliciano was overused by the Metropolitans. Together with his age, everything combusted at once and the switch from one New York team to the other didn’t work out.
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With any luck, history will not repeat.