Dellin Betances following Kevin Durant blueprint to quell free-agency fears
10th December 2019
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SAN DIEGO — Dellin Betances is built more like a basketball player than a baseball player, so he wanted to make sure that the care for his partially torn left Achilles was done by someone used to dealing with an athlete his size.

Dr. Martin O’Malley has been overseeing Betances’ care. Betances did not need surgery, yet the fear of teams will be how a 6-foot-8 pitcher will come back from such a serious injury and the stress put on his landing leg. The hope is that a doctor familiar with working with players of Betances’ size could not only get him well, but allay fears.

O’Malley is renowned for dealing with foot injuries and is the Nets’ foot and ankle specialist. He performed surgery on Kevin Durant’s broken foot in 2015 and also on the Achilles he ruptured during the NBA finals last season.

Betances is said to have a robust field of suitors, and it is possible he will take a one-year contract as a way to re-establish his value going into next offseason.

Betances battled shoulder problems all of last season. He faced two batters all season, striking them both out on Sept. 15, before doing a little pirouette that apparently led to the partial Achilles tear.

The Padres checked in to see if there was a chance to bring Stephen Strasburg home to San Diego. But once they sensed where the years and dollars were heading — Strasburg signed Monday with Washington for seven years at $245 million — the Padres felt they couldn’t invest that much into a starter who will turn 32 in July and has a spotty injury history.

One reason San Diego decided to pursue Manny Machado last offseason was that the competition was the White Sox, a team the Padres felt they could win a bidding war against. They have not felt similar this offseason about the top starters. But they would still like to find a veteran starter to mix with their young rotation members.

The Padres already are heading toward $140 million-ish payroll, which would blow away their previous high, after adding about $20 million for 2020 with Zach Davies, Tommy Pham, Drew Pomeranz and Jurickson Profar.

Curtis Granderson, who turns 39 in March, is interested in playing next season, but so far has received few feelers. Perhaps the 26th roster spot will move a team to bring in a lefty bat with still a bit of power and a strong clubhouse presence. He hit .183 with 12 homers last year for the Marlins.

The Rays are interested in a reunion with Avisail Garcia, who hit 20 homers last season. They also are inquiring on two potential Japanese imports — both lefty swingers — Shogo Akiyama, a center fielder, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, a corner outfielder/DH type.

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