Dellin Betances serves as a symbol of New York baseball, and not just for going from the Yankees to the Mets this off-season. He represents high-end talent that hardly played in 2019.
He faced two batters, his new teammate Jed Lowrie never started a game and Yoenis Cespedes never appeared in a game.
Betances leaves behind a team that lost more yet won more. From their 100-win team of 2018, the Yankees hardly had their best set-up man (Betances), ace (Luis Severino), near Rookie of the Year (Miguel Andujar) and home-run leader (Giancarlo Stanton) and still produced 103 victories in 2019.
The New York clubs have built to survive the absences of those six players again. But what if they have them? No teams in the majors have more significant players who barely played or didn’t play at all in 2019 as part of their 2020 fabric. The shape of the AL West, for example, could pivot on how the Astros’ Lance McCullers and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani rebound from a season in which they didn’t pitch following Tommy John surgery while the Rangers see how Corey Kluber returns from a fractured ulna that cost him the final five months of 2019. But that is one potential…