3). Right-handed pitcher Dellin Betances
There were mixed feelings among fans that surrounded Dellin Betances exercising his $6.8 million player option to return to the Mets this offseason. It certainly was justified as we witnessed a reliever who largely struggled with his velocity and had posted a hideous 7.71 ERA, 2.06 WHIP, and 11/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 11.2 innings. Betances also missed the entire month of September after suffering a right lat injury.
While Betances has produced better velocity on the radar guns so far in camp, it wasn’t too long ago that the Mets front office was looking for any potential takers for Betances on the trade market during the winter. Betances also carries a potential player vesting option for 2022, which is something that could play into the role of Betances future with the organization based on his performance in 2021.
Much of the scrutiny this offseason has been placed on the Mets not doing enough to upgrade the bullpen despite the addition of reliever Trevor May. It seems the front office is looking for a bounce-back season from both Betances and Gsellman to justify not making another roster move at this point. However, Betances carries one of the larger price tags of all Mets relievers on the roster, therefore the front office is going to give him a little more of a leash than most players normally would get in similar circumstances.
It’s important for Betances’ velocity to improve from last season and for him to produce results early on in the season due to the plethora of right-handed arms the Mets have on their 40-man roster. With the front office already seemingly looking to find a way to move on from him this offseason, it makes it all the more important that Betances finds a way to impress the new front office regime to have a future with the organization over the next two seasons.