For the last few months of the 2016 season, the Yankees called upon Dellin Betances to be the closer. This came after the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran and Andrew Miller in mid season deals.
During the offseason, the Yankees signed Chapman for a five-year, $86 Million deal, which resulted in Betances losing the closing job and going back to the eighth inning.
However, Betances doesn’t seem to mind one bit.
“Obviously I’ve set up throughout my career, so I’m comfortable doing that,” Betances told the New York Daily News in a telephone interview following his workout at the Stadium on Thursday. “My mentality is, whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I want. I would have been fine closing, but I understand that adding a guy like Chapman makes the team a lot better. I’m good friends with him and we can help each other out.”
Betances had been with the Yankees over the last three seasons, and after watching Miller and Chapman make it to the Fall Classic, winning a World Series is more important to him than having the closing job.
“I’ve been here three years and we haven’t really done much,” Betances said. “We’ve played good baseball, but I want to win. Seeing those guys in the World Series this year, that’s what I want to do. Whatever it takes to get there, I’ll do the best I can.”
The Yankees last won the Fall Classic in 2009. Fast forward eight years later and the Yankees only have two players remaining from the World Series roster. They could tell him stories about winning the World Series, but it’s another thing to experience the Fall Classic first hand.
Betances isn’t sure if he could ever replicate what Miller did with the Cleveland Indians. But in the past Girardi has used him in situations in which he had to ‘put out the fire’.
It’s hard to tell what the Yankees will be in 2017, but Betances said he will do whatever it takes to help the Yankees make it to the postseason.
It’s hard to do that over the course of a season,” Betances said of Miller’s October workload. “What Andrew did was phenomenal. I enjoyed watching it as much as anybody. I got to see him dominate with us for a year-and-a-half; not as many innings as he did in the playoffs, but he dominated the whole time he was here. As far as me doing that, I feel like I’ve been used in that situation before and as long as I feel good, I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win.”