Yankees president blasts Dellin Betances after arbitration victory

As was expected by many, reliever Dellin Betances lost his arbitration case on Saturday so instead of earning $5 million in 2017, he will earn $3 million. What happened afterward was quite unexpected. Yankees president Randy Levine ripped into Betances following the hearing and said that his request for $5 million “had no bearing in reality.”

“It’s like me saying, ‘I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut,’ Levine said. “I’m not an astronaut and Dellin Betances is not a closer, at least based on the statistics, not whether he could or couldn’t be.”

This is clear — Betances has been one of the best relievers in the MLB over the past three years. Since 2014, Betances leads all relievers with an 8.5 fWAR, had the 8th best ERA at 1.93, and had the by far more strikeouts than anybody with 392 (Andrew Miller is 66 Ks behind in the same span). In that span, he has been the team’s most durable reliever, often pitching more than one inning at a time and coming in no matter the situation. He might have been a middle reliever, but baseball recognized his ability when it named him an All-Star three times in his first three years.

None of that mattered because Betances only picked up 22 saves. He’s not, “a closer.”

“Even though I disagreed with the arbitrator’s decision, I was planning on putting everything behind me until I was aware of Randy Levine’s comments,” Betances said at a press conferences Saturday. “They take me in a room and trash me for about an hour and a half. I thought that was unfair for me. Especially I feel like I’ve done a lot for this organization. In these last three years I’ve taken the ball time after time. Whenever they needed for me I was there for them. I never said no. I feel like this whole process was unfair. We tried to come to a middle ground and nothing really happened.”

Now the Yankees have put themselves in a situation where their best homegrown reliever since Mariano Rivera doesn’t feel respected and doesn’t want to be here. Brian Cashman pretty much has to begin exploring trade possibilities because Betances will leave as soon as he can. All over $2 million.

It’s hard to blame him. Betances would be a closer on 25 other teams in the league and the Yankees are lucky enough to have him as a middle reliever. During this time, they’ve never really given him a shot to close, but he’s never complained. He didn’t complain when they went out and signed Miller, traded for Chapman, or re-signed Chapman. Of course not because he was a team player. Well that’s out the window now. I doubt we can expect him to pitch more than an inning at a time anymore too because why bother risk an injury for a team that he knows will never pay him what he’s worth.

So the Yankees saved $2 million today. They cost themselves the loyalty of a homegrown talent and one of the best relievers in baseball. I hope it was worth it.

“Dellin didn’t have that record,” Levine said. “He never did. He’s a great, elite setup man. Maybe one day he’ll be an elite closer, we hope so.”

It just won’t be for the Yankees.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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13 Responses to Yankees president blasts Dellin Betances after arbitration victory

  1. tom says:

    As usual, Levine is a moron.

  2. Michael says:

    You cheap fucking bastards. He pitched his heart out for the Yankees and that is how you reward him? Shame on you ass holes. He was the ultimate team player.

  3. Larry Mofield says:

    Hey Levine shut up, wow your an idiot.So you beat the best set up guy in MLB .It amazes me how you guys treat Betances , Refsnyder and Gardner.
    But you pay a Holliday 13 million and a CC. 20 million and ARod for pete's sake 22 million and you cry over 2 million.
    Your stupid for opening your mouth , should had just left it alone, bad enough you skimped him last year .
    Between you. Cashman and Girardi it's amazing anyone wants to come here or come up and play for the Yankees anymore.
    Maybe if your siiiting close enough Betances will let one of those 97 plus fastball smack you on the jaw and we won't have to hear your stupid remarks.
    Betances you get them this year with amazing stats and stick it to them next year.

  4. Counterproductive move, Betances will be worth the money in the long run. Another puzzling move by management. They have repeated endlessly that it's not personal, but I guess it is now.

  5. Michael says:

    What is Levine worth? Nothing! He should shut his big fucking mouth. Who needs this ass hole. Get rid of the rat bastard.

  6. Mike W says:

    Betances might not be an official closer, but he has closer stuff. Pissing him off is not a good idea because now he can go to the Red Sox or Blue Jays and shut us down. Levine is a terd and needs to take some humble pie.

  7. Chad says:

    What fool makes stupid comments like that after they win? He has been a rock in the bullpen and that's how you thank him? You think anyone want to play for that kind of administration? Hell No!!! Shut your big mouth you over paid ass hole. That is what the problem with this once great organization. Dumbasses like possum faced Levine having any say so at all. You are killing your fan base with cheap arrogant dick moves like this.

  8. scubaBuzz says:

    I have a simple solution: fire Levine and give his salary to Betances

  9. Terry says:

    It's called taking care of your own. That is a special, wipe out arm and a 2 million dollar investment now could help in the total number later. Saw a comment by Ron Darling when asked who'd he take in a bases loaded, no out, bottom of the ninth situation. He said Betances. I can tell you he's not alone in that pick. I'm sure a lot of hitters don't look forward to him. Very few pitchers in the history of the game are 9 pitch, strike out the side talent. Potentially every time also. I would have paid the man but management, if you win a case like this, shut your mouth and take the win

  10. Olie says:

    "Shooting one's self in foot 101" I am afraid the Yanks will rue the day they did this to Betances with him either leaving or sticking it to them at free agency. These are the New York Yankees and they are worrying about a couple million dollars which to them is nothing instead of seeing it as a future investment in a building team.

  11. Balt Yank says:

    They should fire Levine immediately. The "reality" is KILLER B is one of the best relievers in the AL, period. After pitching 80-100 innings for three years in a row, he had a bad three games in Boston but he shouldn't have been used for those three games in a row. The Yankees messed up here big time. Killer B should be annoyed to be trashed in the press while watching the Yankees give Chapman 80+ million. As a fan, I am big time disappointed.

  12. Marko says:

    Levine is lucky, he can stand on his head and use that Brillo Pad hair to clean his toilet!! I agree with the post that Levine should be fired, and his salary added to Dellin's !! This guy is such white trash, you got what you wanted, don't humiliate one of your most loyal players! The Yankees are fools, they will most likely lose Betances to the Red Sox, or Blue Jays !! Betances is a classy guy on and off the field, Levine is a self important a hole!!

  13. ERIC PELLIS says:

    The worse part of this is the Yankee silence in the front office. Unfortunately, Randy Levine has way too much power in the organization. For Hal and Brian not to speake out against his stupid comments tells you all you need to know about the organization.

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