TAMPA, Fla. — The 14 pounds Dellin Betances lost in the offseason isn’t the only weight he’s shed.

There’s a lot off his shoulders, too, he said.

Betances said he was glad he didn’t have to battle the Yankees in arbitration this offseason and relive the nightmare that involved Betances’ agent and team president Randy Levine hurling insults at each other via the media.

“For me, last year a tough year, and I think there was a lot of negativity I came into,” the righty reliever told reporters at his locker in the George M. Steinbrenner Field clubhouse Tuesday, when pitchers and catchers reported to spring training.

“I think this year I”m just trying to be as positive as I can and do the best I can to help this team win a championship. I think that’s the key.”

Immediate takeaways from Boone

Betances and the Yankees agreed to a $5.1-million deal for the 2018 season, avoiding salary arbitration.

“I think just starting spring training in a positive mind frame helps a lot,” Betances said. “Obviously you don’t want to have (arbitration) but you go through that as a player. I’m happy we agreed to something right away. I’m here early. Last year I missed a couple days so I’m just excited to start out on a positive mindset. “

Last February, the Yankees and Betances were locked in a battle to determine his 2017 salary. Betances wanted $5 million. The Yankees wanted to pay him $3 million, and they won when an arbitrator ruled in their favor.

Immediately after the ruling, Levine blasted Betances’ agent, saying that he used Betances for a payday and the agent, Jim Murray, shot back, calling Levine an astronaut.

What followed was Betances’ worst big-league season.

Though he made his fourth straight All-Star game, he had a 5.59 ERA in September and lost the confidence of then-manager Joe Girardi, who hardly used him in the playoffs as the Yankees reached Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

Betances said he hasn’t talked to pitching coach Larry Rothschild about what role he’ll have but added that he knows how he must get better.

“Working on my fastball command that was the biggest thing and just trying to work on my breaking ball throwing it more for strikes,” he said. “Last year I had a problems with a lot of walks so I think that was a focal point for me and I feel good.”

Brendan Kuty may be reached at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter @BrendanKutyNJ . Find NJ.com Yankees on Facebook .