Dellin Betances was not happy when the Yankees renewed his contract for the 2016 season after the All-Star reliever refused to accept a modest raise. A year later, it remains to be seen how he will react now that the Yankees have decided to let the matter be decided in arbitration.
“We’re not going to reach a resolution with Dellin,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday at Yankee Stadium. “The conversations we’ve had with their representatives were ‘if we file, we trial.’ Based on all our discussions, it was clear the different perspectives were such a wide bridge, we’ll go about and just basically have a polite discussion about market value . . . So we’re going to wind up in an arbitration with Dellin.’’
The Yankees have not had a player take them to arbitration since 2008, when they won their hearing against pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.
Betances, who turned down $540,000 and was renewed at $507,000 in 2016, is seeking $5 million. The Yankees countered with $3 million.
“I just know we filed what we felt was appropriate, they filed what they felt was appropriate and somebody else will make the determination of what he makes,’’ Cashman said. “Either way, we have a good pitcher.’’
Cashman was asked if the club considered bypassing arbitration and offering a multiyear deal to Betances. “We had some limited discussions, I guess, on it,’’ he said. “You could always have a possibility down the line, but that’s not going to happen in this case right now.’’
Betances, who has excelled as an eighth-inning specialist and assumed the closer role after the Yankees dealt Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, struck out 126 batters in 73 innings last season. However, he had a 6.32 ERA in his last 16 appearances. With Chapman back, Betances will go back to his eighth-inning role.
Cashman also addressed lingering trade rumors concerning Chase Headley, saying there is no guarantee that he will remain a Yankee for the final two years of his agreement.
“I can’t predict that, I certainly can’t predict that,’’ he said. “I expect him to be here as we start our season. I had a couple of proposals thrown my way this winter, but then it would have left a void. I didn’t like what we were getting back and I didn’t like that I didn’t have a replacement at third, so obviously I chose not to pursue what was being offered to me.’’
Headley, who is due $13 million in each of the next two seasons, has not been approached about a trade. “That conversation isn’t needed,’’ he said. “I don’t get upset about it. I don’t think, ‘Man, I’m mad at the Yankees, they’re trying to trade me.’ There’s none of that.’’
Cashman also spoke about CC Sabathia, who turns 37 in July. He said he knows Sabathia wants to pitch beyond the expiration of his contract with the Yankees after this season. It is not believed that the Yankees will look to retain him. “I’d love to have what he did last year,’’ Cashman said. “I thought he did a tremendous job for us.’’
The lefthander was 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA. Sabathia had right knee surgery in October and will be brought along slowly in spring training, Cashman said.