New York Mets News: Arbitration Process In Full Swing


New York Mets News: Mets Have Deals Done With Four Of Six Arbitration Eligible Players

With spring training only a short four weeks away, the MLB offseason and hot stove are beginning to cool down. The last thing keeping teams from beginning the season is the arbitration process. For the New York Mets, this will be arguably the busiest part of the offseason. They stayed relatively quiet on the free agent and trade fronts, but still have two players eligible for arbitration after failing to reach an agreement for the 2015 season; first baseman Lucas Duda and closer Jenrry Mejia.

Second baseman Daniel Murphy, starting pitcher Dillon Gee, relief pitcher Bobby Parnell and shortstop Ruben Tejada all settled for $8.0 million, $5.3 million, $3.7 million and $1.88 million respectively.

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The arbitration process is an uncomfortable one, as the player and team have to go to court if an agreement isn’t reached and argue why a player is worth a certain amount of money. Essentially, a team goes into the hearing arguing that a player isn’t worth a certain amount of money, which could make for a sticky situation.

The settlements with the four players are not surprising at all, as the Mets are shopping Gee hard and needed to have a contract figure in place for trade negotiations. Parnell didn’t have much of an argument after missing all of last season outside of the first game, and Tejada has struggled mightily as the starter. With Murphy, the Mets have held their ground saying they are not willing to work out a long-term deal. Murphy will become a free agent following the 2015 season, and there is a very real chance that it will be his last with the team, as they have a younger option in Dilson Herrera they will not have to tie as much money up in for the next couple of seasons.

As for the two players remaining that the Mets have to work out an agreement with for the 2015, each had a breakout season of sorts in 2014. Mejia was a revelation in the closer’s role. After a hot start to the season in the rotation, Mejia quickly flamed out, but bounced back with a strong finish at the backend of the bullpen.

Overall, Mejia threw 93.2 innings, striking out 98 batters with a 1.48 WHIP and 3.65 ERA and compiling a 6-6 record with 28 saves and only three blown saves. As a reliever, Mejia improved across the board, registering a lower WHIP and ERA while also having a better K/BB and OPS against.

The team and Mejia had to exchange salary figures since they were unable to come to an agreement beforehand. Mejia requested $3.0 million, while the Mets countered with $2.1 million. No matter which side the arbitrator goes with, the Mets are coming out with a good deal; projected Mejia to make $3.1 million. There isn’t a huge gap between what Mejia and the Mets brought to the table, so the two sides should eventually be able to come to an agreement without having to go to hearing.

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The last remaining player the Mets need to work out a deal with is Duda, who had a breakout season in 2014. After beating out Ike Davis to become the full-time first baseman, Duda rewarded the Mets with a 30-home run, 92 RBI season. The burly slugger had a slash line of .253/.349/.481, which are strong numbers for a first-time starter. He had his struggles still against left-handed pitching, but showed that he is worthy of starting spot as his home run and RBI totals placed him in the top-5 of the NL.

For the number exchange, Duda requested $4.7 million, while the Mets countered with $3.75 million. projected Duda to earn $4.3 million in his second go-around in the arbitration process. With a bigger discrepancy in price, it may take a little longer for the two sides to come to an agreement, but it would not be out of the realm of possibilities for one to be reached. If it does go to hearing, there is a good chance that Duda wins this case.

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