Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano is has officially been classified as a Type B free agent.
What that means to the Mets is that Feliciano just picked up a whole lotta leverage this offseason.
If he had been classified as a Type A free agent, as many thought he would, Feliciano would have had a hard time getting a deal from another team this offseason because most teams would have been reluctant to part with their first round pick just to sign a lefty specialist, even one as good as Feliciano.
So here is how it works for the Mets…
If the Mets offer arbitration to Feliciano and he ends up signing with another team, the Mets would pick up a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds. Had he been a Type A, the Mets would have gotten the supplemental pick PLUS the signing team’s first round draft pick.
This year, Feliciano earned $2.9 million dollars, and he could fetch as much as $4 million in arbitration. It doesn’t sound like much, but for a team that already has $130 million dollars earmarked in payroll already for 2011. it’s kind of a big decision.
If the Mets decline to offer arbitration, of course the Mets get nothing and Feliciano simply signs with a new team and will get a multi year deal. As an example, last offseason Jeremy Affeldt signed a two-year $9.5 million deal with a $5 million dollar option for 2012.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The other prominent southpaw in the Mets bullpen this year was Hisanori Takahashi. On Wednesday we reported that Takahashi switched agents. Less than 24 hours later, new agent Arn Tellem, indicated that the October 31st deadline to re-sign Takahashi could be extended.
This tells me two things,
1. The Mets are very interested in retaining Takahashi and are possibly considering a two-year deal with him which is what he is looking for.
2. Takahashi is open to remaining with the Mets even knowing full well that the chances he gets a spot in the rotation are slim to none.
I consider this good news, and I would expect that signing Takahashi will be Sandy Alderson’s first official undertaking, as far as players go, this offseason.
Images courtesy of the world wide leader in sports, ESPN.com.