cry-baby-dellin

New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances delivers to a Kansas City Royals batter during the 13th inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

By Joe Giglio

This escalated quickly.

When the Yankees and Dellin Betances stepped in front of an arbitrator last week, the relationship between the team and star reliever was intact.

By weekend’s end, it wasanything but that. From Randy Levine’s ill-fated comments to Betances’ agent firing back to a homegrown Yankee clearly upset by the process, it wasn’t pretty.

Could it lead to Betances’ eventual exit from the Bronx?

Regardless of how yearly arbitration works out for the team or player, the Yankees hold Betances’ rights through the 2019 season. Even if Betances’ wants to walk, he can’t hit free agency for three more seasons. But the Yankees could be the aggressor and move on through a trade.

On Tuesday’s episode of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast with Buster Olney, the Yankees-Betances drama was a subject brought up during a conversation with ESPN’s Andrew Marchand. The podcast laid out a potential trade scenario for the 2017 trade deadline.

Olney: I think in this case it could have ramifications between Dellin and the Yankees.

Marchand: You have to wonder how long Dellin Betances is going to be a Yankee now. If they’re not good this year, he could be their best trade option–and we saw what they got for Miller and Chapman last year.

Before dismissing the idea of the Yankees dealing Betances, keep some things in mind:

Rumors of Betances on the market were present last year–before this arbitration drama began.

-If he pitches up to his standard, Betances will clearly be New York’s best trade chip–assuming Masahiro Tanaka isn’t put on the market.

-New York’s front office and Betances’ agent will have to go through this arbitration dance two more times between now and 2019.

-With Arolids Chapman under team control for at least as long (depending on Chapman’s 2019 opt-out), Betances will likely never been the Yankees closer. As we saw last year, general manager Brian Cashman isn’t afraid to deal a great set-up man for high-end prospects in a non-contending year.

Betances on the block? Get ready for the rumors to start once contending teams start calling around for bullpen help during the season.

You can listen to the entire episode of the podcast here. The Betances conversation starts around the 55:20 mark.

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